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Industry News

January 17, 2013

I wanted to give my reaction to the NHLPA’s announcement yesterday about the fact that there will be no “Rookie Cards” in the 2012-13 products and the announcement from Panini that several of their 2012-13 products are being cancelled.

My reply is multi-faceted.

I have great concerns for the dealers whose primary sales come from hockey trading cards.  While these dealers struggled during the hockey lockout, they anxiously waited for the game to get back on the ice so that they could enjoy “business as usual”. Well the lockout was resolved but this announcement seems to be just as devastating.

Let’s face it; the dealers are the core of the industry and without them collectors would not be able to find the products they are looking for.

From now until the end of this season, In The Game will continue to manufacture and deliver quality products to our dealers. We will also increase our dealer programs to help “drive traffic” to our dealers and try to bridge the gap until the start of the 2013-14 products.

As a collector myself, I don’t feel that this decision is a good one. There is a season, although shortened. There are rookies playing this year. It is not like the 2004-5 season where there was no choice as there were no rookies taking the ice.

Having said that, I am sure there are factors that went into this decision that are way over my head. If both Upper Deck and Panini agreed to this solution; then who am I to judge their rationale.

The lockout was about money, plain and simple. Is this decision about money as well?

Ask yourself that question, not sure I know the answer.

On a third front, I am certainly glad that I did not accept the NHLPA’s proposal this summer for a two-release one-year license. Had I done so, my first obstacle would have been the lockout and then my second obstacle would have been no rookies.

Sometimes the deals you don’t make are your best deals”.

Brian Price

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