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ITG Welcomes Panini – Not!

August 29, 2010

Seems like Panini and the NHLPA make good partners.

We were just informed by an agent that Panini has added the following language to their player agreements;

“Player shall be restricted from providing autographs on Cards for other companies unless such Cards are licensed by the National Hockey League Players’ Association (the “NHLPA”) at the time such autograph is provided.”

These agreements are being sent out to players who might be playing in the AHL and the CHL next year clearly trying to effect our contractual relationships with the AHL/PHPA and CHL. Since the NHLPA no longer permits exclusives, this clause is an attack against ITG.

Is it legal? We certainly will find out very soon.

Panini should worry about competing with Upper Deck but it seems they are more concerned with us, should I be flattered?

Maybe I should change my position with exclusives and give Panini something to think about.

So a player who played six games in the NHL last year signs this contract and is sent back to the AHL for the 2010-11 season can’t sign for us, not right.

So Panini, welcome to the hockey trading card business, sorry after this stunt, I can’t wish you good luck.

Brian Price

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