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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Once Again, Collectors Lose (Upper Deck Granted Exclusive License From NHL & NHLPA)

Some very disappointing news came out today, when it was announced that  both the NHL and NHLPA reached an exclusive licensing deal with Upper Deck, which will begin with the 2014-15 season. The company had been sharing the license with Panini since 2010, but was previously an exclusive license holder from 2004-2010.

Of course, this news sucks for hockey card collectors, especially those who are fans of Panini's products (like me). Over the past few years, Panini really has made an effort to put out some unique and innovative products. Just look at Dominion, with Engravatures, Tape to Tape and Had It Stamped It, or even with Prime, and cards like Prime Ties, Skates, and Laces, or their Prime Colors patch cards. Now, I also like Upper Deck, but in my opinion, their products rely more on reputation than innovation. We get those Panini products because we want to find the newest type of card, whereas Upper Deck is purchased because it's "Upper Deck" and The Cup is purchased because it's "The Cup."

Now, truth be told, I'm not trying to bury Upper Deck as a company. It's obvious, that the NHL's intention was to go exclusive, because Panini didn't really give them any particular reason to cut ties. The NHL and NHLPA simply decided to go with who they have been with longer.

Hopefully, this doesn't mean that Upper Deck sits back and takes it easy. I really hope they examine Panini's ideas and adopt some of the innovative things they were doing. Even though Panini lost this battle, there were some really cool things they were working on, and I would hate to see them lost forever.

The Winner

The Loser


  1. On principle I don't like it. On the other hand I do like UD's hockey cards. Keep giving me great photography and I'll be happy.

    1. I for one will just quit for a while when upper deck dos'nt pay the league like they did baseball and football some one will get the rights if their is a market left to produce again. I will not be screwed by upper deck anymore.

    2. Photograph shold be good when you dont pay your bills you can go all out.

  2. it could worse... a lot worse. Panini could've got the exclusive. *shudder*

    I don't like exclusives at all.... but it's the way the leagues want it, the collectors don't matter. Never have.

    Baseball = Topps
    Hockey = Upper Deck
    Basketball = Panini
    Football = ??? We'll find out soon.

  3. That's sad. I was just starting to get interested in hockey cards and, as a whole, I really liked what Panini was doing. I don't dislike UD and it's hockey offerings, I just don't see the need for exclusivity.

    1. I have no Idea what the nhl was thinking if you put upper deck and lawsuit in to google you will see what I mean.

    2. Sorry I meant lawsuits

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