Upper Deck Back as NHL Exclusive in 2014-15

Upper Deck Back as NHL Exclusive in 2014-15

Starting next season, it will be back to one manufacturer when it comes to licensed hockey cards. Upper Deck, the NHL and NHLPA have announced a multi-year deal that starts with the 2014-15 season.

Upper Deck had an NHL exclusive from 2004-05 through 2009-10. Panini was added to the mix for 2010-11 and will continue to make licensed cards through the end of their current deal.

"I can't think of a better way to celebrate Upper Deck's upcoming 25th anniversary of producing hockey cards than with this exclusive partnership announcement," said Upper Deck President Jason Masherah via a press release.

Shortly after the news was made public, Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said in a statement, "We are disappointed to learn of the NHL an NHLPA's decision to go in another direction in the trading card category. During the term of our agreement, we faced many challenges, including a late start to the agreement and an NHL work stoppage."

2014-15 marks Upper Deck's 25th year in hockey. The card maker plans to kick of the season with 2014-15 Upper Deck MVP Hockey in August. For the past several seasons the brand has been used as an insert. 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Hockey follows in September with 2014-15 Upper Deck Artifacts in October.

Specifics of the exclusive deal have not been announced, such as its length and how many products Upper Deck will make each year.

What do you think of the new Upper Deck deal and exclusives in general? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff. His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. This is horrible news for the hobby. Panini was making some nice strides with some fine products and I feel the competition was forcing UD to put some extra creative effort into their offerings. To think, I was hoping the playing field would be opened a bit further and ITG would get a license!
    Poor decision IMHO, I sure would like to hear the reasoning behind it.

  2. I think the comment of @sdevanny resumes the situation very well. Big thumbs down to the NHL and NHLPA.

  3. Now you need to get back your NBA license, Upper Deck. Cmon UD!! I hope you can once again reclaim it.

  4. wow so no more dominion or prime. that sucks

  5. I just got back into collecting in the past few weeks and had done a bunch of research to see what had happened to various brands for various sports. Even before this bit of news came out and I was already thinking that it was unfortunate that so many brands had gone away or that so few companies had rights to produce cards anymore. Less companies = less competition = less choice and satisfaction for the buyer.
    PS I think Upper Deck makes a great product

  6. I couldn’t be happier. I have had excellent success with UD redemptions, they have really ramped it up. I have so much outstanding stuff from Topps it’s pathetic. UD gets Hockey and they support the sport well. As for Panini, I think it’s an Italian word for cheap, crease prone foil material. I look forward to the continuation of SP Authentic, Black Diamond, etc. I also agree that ITG comes up with some good concepts ( and some real strange ones) that UD should take a look at.

  7. the nhl should of read about the nbl not getting paid and take a look at all the lawsuits upper deck has been in or currently is in. But any company that rips kids off should be shunned and left to grow broke.

  8. Harry Patterson » The NHL is very aware of things. They’ve been the one sports license that has stuck around. UD is also under new leadership, which seems to have righted the ship.

  9. I’m sad as well. Not a big Panini fan, but I always appreciated their NHL products. UD has to come through big with this exclusive license, otherwise it’s going to kill the hobby for me. I already stopped buying baseball products because of how limited the market is, hopefully they don’t make the same mistake.

  10. I just started collecting hockey cards again, and already thinking of stopping because of Upper Deck. I enjoy that cards now have patches, autos, and numbered. In the past year, have been buying their premier, ultimate, and the cup lines. What bothers me is the redemptions. You’d imagine with the cost of these products, they would fulfill ASAP! But no, alas. Sure, I’m patient and can wait a few months, but what bothers me is that those same player autos I am waiting for, are found signed in their latest product. UD buy backs. I’m not against making money, but not when it’s such a scam. Nhl, you’ve partnered up with a lousy partner.

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