EA Sports forum are reporting widespread disc read error issues with NHL 09 -- over time. Many users are reporting the popular hockey franchise works as advertised during the initial play through but eventually crashes after loading saved modes or regular games once the Xbox 360 reboots.
While EA has yet to release an official statement regarding the problem users have found success with two bandaid solutions -- which point to cache problems in the game. According to the EA Forum users clearing the cache of the Xbox 360 and disabling the auto-save feature in NHL 09 may help fix the problem but as gamers play more of the game the issue returns.
Let's hope we'll get a fix for the game soon. Actually, it's cool. We'll just play our 82 game seasons in one sitting. No, really.
Update: EA Sports actually responded to this issue late last night recommending the cache clear route as a possible solution. They have yet responded to the cries for a patch.