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.