By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Hockey Editor
The 2013-14 hockey season is underway and in just a few days, the trading card season is set to take off in a big way. Upper Deck Series 1 and Panini Select come out with the first products featuring rookies from both 2012-13 and 2013-14.
But collectors may get another option soon.
In The Game submitted a proposal for an NHL Players Association license, Beckett Media confirmed.
Dr. Brian Price, President of In The Game, wrote on Sports Card Forum:
Just to bring everyone up to date. We have again submitted a proposal to the NHLPA for a license.
We now have to wait for their reply.
If the terms and conditions are fair and on a level playing field with the other licensees, I will respond positively.
If the terms and conditions are structured to prejudice our future, I will pass.
ITG currently makes hockey cards, but has to have deals in place with individual players since it does not have any licenses for the NHL. ITG has been able to get some big names and has put vintage memorabilia into its sets.
It does currently have a CHL license and has been able to produce prospect cards.
ITG had an NHLPA license previously. It came into the market with the Be A Player brand in 1998 and produced NHLPA-licensed cards until 2004. ITG has continued to produce hockey cards despite not having one of the of NHL or NHLPA licenses.
One of the big advantages for ITG has been the ability to produce prospect cards. Before next week, the only place collectors have been able to find cards of players such as Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon has been in ITG’s releases. The ITG autographs of this season’s prospects have been popular.
ITG was offered an NHLPA license in the summer of 2012, Beckett reported in January. The license would have been for one year and ITG would have only been able to produce two releases in a season leading into a work stoppage. Price turned down the offer.
ITG wouldn’t have been able to use players such as Nail Yakupov in 2012-13 NHLPA-licensed products because of the NHLPA decision to hold off on new Rookie Cards with a shortened hockey season.