NHLPA restricts 2012-13 rookie class on cards

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Statement from the NHLPA’s Adam Larry:

“Over the past few months, the NHLPA has been assessing the impact that a lockout shortened season would have on our trading card business, as well as how to specifically the rookie card class of 2012-13. After discussions both internally and externally, including with many stakeholders within the trading card industry, we have decided to restrict the rookie class for the 2012-13 product to those players who debuted between the 2012 All-Star Game and the conclusion of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals. This means that all rookies who debut during the 2012-13 season will have their rookie cards appear in 2013-14 products.

The NHLPA encourages collectors to check Panini’s and Upper Deck’s official blogs for more details on their respective upcoming 2012-13 releases. We look forward to continuing our relationship with both Panini and Upper Deck to bring the best hockey players in the world to life through the dynamic and expanding trading card market.”

Translation: There will be no new Rookie Cards in product in 2012-13. The rookies that are in products now such as ChrisKreider, Sven Baertschi and JadenSchwartz will be the only rookies in products this season.

However, that makes 2013-14 products loaded just as it was in 2005-06, the season after the last lockout.

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  1. Jason Ross 16 January, 2013 at 18:18

    IMO I don’t think that this is the best decision. 2012-13 is currently weak with rookies and the prospect of players like Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Reilly, Schultz being in sets upcoming at least made the lockout palatable. This is not good news for the collector and availability of 13-14 product will be insane and could lead to astronomical prices to the average collector. If your a set builder or a person who buys a box here and there it might be best to pre-order in case like quantities to avoid being hosed a week after the product comes out.

  2. Cole 16 January, 2013 at 18:21

    My question is than what will be made of this years artifact rookie redemption’s? I have one and was hoping it would be Granlund of the wild. But he will be in next years class as he will make his first start this year. Thats the only reason I bought the redemption

  3. David Hollingsworth 16 January, 2013 at 19:15

    The Artifacts rookies will be made next year– Upper Deck stated that when they put them out that they would be made next year if they were not made this year.

  4. Mark 16 January, 2013 at 19:36

    So I quess it was not enough to cancel more than half a season, basically slaughter the small buisness owners , and the poor people that could not work at the arena’s ( the blue collar workers ). Now they decide this. Please explain how this is fair to collectors and dealers.
    People buy most new product for the rookies. So this draft never happened, the NHL is playing a season right. So why would they not produce the players from the draft as they do every other season. So why would the collector buy any new product ????? This is very wrong and will again hurt the hobby and sport. I am done with the NHL and hockey cards.
    Just more stupidity and greed from the arrogant and the rich.

  5. Joe 16 January, 2013 at 20:51

    This just gives ITG an advantage on securing first autographs of all the young players. License be damned…

  6. deeez 16 January, 2013 at 21:02

    does that mean that ud and panini will get a refund on $ paid to them for the wasted year of rights

  7. zotster 16 January, 2013 at 21:15

    I’m not a big rookie collector. I collect full sets (Score and OPC only) and team sets of my favorite team. But it really bugs me that if my team has a rookie that makes a big impact this season, I have to wait to get a card of him. Just don’t understand the logic here.

  8. backupgoalie 16 January, 2013 at 22:32

    this makes no sense whatsoever…i cant understand the logic behind what they are saying.
    how about you guys dont worry about it and give us our rookie cards.


  9. Darren 16 January, 2013 at 23:42

    This is terrible news.

    First, we had to survive the lockout and now the new crop of ‘good’ rookies won’t be available until the fall?

    Sorry to say, but the rest of the 12/13 product calendar won’t be nearly as appealing now.

    Here’s hoping 2013 Baseball & Football products will be enough to keep us afloat… *sigh*.

  10. kris 17 January, 2013 at 00:12

    thanks again garry butman and donald feherer. not only did we lose a have a season to these idiots. now we have no hockey rookies. their apology was meaning less and now another kick in the but to fans way to go. you have record revenues. fight over money. and now a double rookie class way to only worry about your pocketbook and not the fans. you will eventually pay your price God will punish greed. and you also don’t know the golden rule treat others as you wish to be treated because you all think you are above us your time will come.

  11. Wayne Frazer 17 January, 2013 at 10:57

    This is a potentially disastrous decision for small card shops, which rely on a steady flow of products to keep the doors open. What are those owners supposed to do when the number of products falls by two-thirds for the remainder of the year, and none of the better players are in those products?

  12. Ron 17 January, 2013 at 12:30

    Last night I stopped by Nick’s Sports Cards in Dallas to bust some SPGU with Nohands70 and Debbie comes out and shows us an email from Panini that they were cancelling a huge amount of future products. We wondered then why they were doing this??? Now we know! No new rookies which drives hockey sales, no need to put out new products that will sit on the shelf. STUPID move by the NHL and NHLPA Wonder how many collectors will say enough is enough and move on to another sport. How dumb can the NHLPA be??? STUPID, STUPID!!!!

  13. Darren 17 January, 2013 at 12:51

    So, obviously the NHLPA (and in, turn Upper Deck and Panini too, for agreeing to this) don’t care about the Hobby market or the card collector. Because really, what is the point of delaying the RC Class? This is a stupid decision by the NHLPA, once again showing their greed, by hoping to make more money off their young players. “Why have only 6 or 7 Yakupov RC’s when you can have 20”. Bull****!

    Are they hoping that it makes 2013-14 products loaded just as it was in 2005-06, the season after the last lockout. Sorry, won’t happen. Yakupov is no Crosby (or even Ovechkin), and doesn’t have the draw of either.

    As a card store owner, this year was looking pretty sad, but it looked hopeful with the end of the lockout. Series 2 UD would sell well, and even redemption product from earlier would still sell. Well, not anymore. I am cancelling my order of series 2 (since there will be dick all for rookies), and cutting backk all the other orders.

    Also, does this mean that if Yakupov and the rest of the class do play this year, they are ineligible for the Calder trophy? Probably not, but I sure hope so. 1) Why give them a trophy, when you can’t make a card for it? 2) They’ll have to fight it out with next years RC Class if they want the Calder.

    They might as well have stayed out the rest of the year, because that’s the same thing from my point of view.

  14. Grant 17 January, 2013 at 19:59

    This has to be the Dumbest thing I have heard in quite some time. In the history of bad ideas be the NHLPA this one ranks right up there with refusing to negotiate and then just handing the league the same offer over and over just worded differently. Why not put the rookie cards out this season when these players actually make their debut? No concern for the market, no concern for the collector, no concern for the card store owner. Why collect this years product at all??

  15. Jersey 17 January, 2013 at 23:19

    I’m confused. Prior to this year we’ve been complaining about the card company’s terrible QA processes when it comes to card quality and hit assurance, 6-8 month redemption waiting periods & terrible customer service in addressing those issues. Now Panini is essentially saying they’d rather NOT put out a product then rush to put out a product where they don’t have the new RC auto’s, any GU [or ‘event worn’ materials and/or the [players’] time to host events to have the players sign the cards in house.
    Are we really upset because Nail Yakupov won’t be on a 2012-13 UD Series II Young Guns, or are we actually upset that there’s not going to be a $800 AU/GU Cup card this summer [along with the other brand AU/GU RC cards]? I’m going to assume it’s the latter. At this point there haven’t been any events where the card companies have been able to get their own photos of the [new] RCs, they haven’t played any [NHL] games to get game photos. Without the photo events and with no games played so far, there’s no event-used/GU materials to put on the cards that don’t have photos, so there are no cards for the players to sign right this minute. [The card companies know how much we love to complain when high end product has stick-on autographs.] Once cards are produced, the shortened season & heavier travel schedule isn’t conducive to free time for new rookies to be sitting around signing hundreds of cards for Panini and Upper Deck. Which means lots of redemptions. And we LOVE redemptions right? And the more players who turn cards in late [like say at the end of the season], the slower the redemption process becomes. Which means we wouldn’t end up getting our cards until, I don’t know about the time next year’s product comes out.
    Yes it sucks that we lost ½ season of the game. Yes it sucks that there’s only 3 decent guys to get on rookie cards. It does hurt the industry [my dad owns a card store, so I do understand both sides to this]. But a poor quality product that was rushed through production & is filled with redemptions which may take months to years before receiving also hurts the industry. I’m sure on their end the NHLPA had the [rookie] players’ best interest in mind, which is to focus on their game in the shortened season and not worry about photo shoots, signing events and deadlines for signing cards. And when the card companies agreed to delay the new rookie class with the NHLPA, they likely had their products’ quality and brand interest in mind and would rather wait to do things the way they need to then rush to put out a poor quality product with RC cards they know they won’t have in time. They also had their brand quality in mind when deciding to cancel product rather than put out a sub-par product that their customers aren’t going to like.

    Panini and Upper Deck lose money when they cancel brands/product lines. They control the quantities of their products so they sell out of virtually everything they produce, so cancelling a product line costs them money. As a collector, I’d rather see the card companies cancel a line then put out a bunch of junk for the purpose on meeting a product line requirement. While it hurts dealers this year, it says a lot about changes in product quality the card companies are taking. Those changes are what’s going to keep the industry alive for the years to come in the future.

    For those products which are being delivered, Panini and Upper Deck seem to have taken the lack of rookies into consideration for many of their product lines finding other creative ways to ensure collector’s value is received from the product. I don’t even collect most of the RC cards [I like the goalies] but I know if I buy a case of something, I’m going to need to a good AU/GU RC out of it if I want to get my money’s worth out of the case. The Autographed Emerald Cards in Black Diamond were pretty cool. I got a /10 Emerald Bobby Hull in a case of BD I opened. That was kind of cool. I got a piece of the Stanley Cup Finals Net [/25] in my SPGU case. And how cool were the little ‘goalie pulls’ from the Certified?

    My point is this decision seems to be made due to the lockout-shortened season and isn’t an independent decision being made for the sole purpose of screwing over collectors and hockey fans. It’s one more residual effect of the lockout that we need to deal with. As of right now the card companies have no pictures, no jerseys to cut up, no cards for new RCs to sign. The new RCs don’t have time to be going to photo shoots/events or need to be worried about deadlines for signing cards so we’re not going to get any new RC cards any time soon. The alternative to the decision made is to put out 2012-13 product filled with redemptions for RC cards that we wouldn’t see for months. And if we’re not getting the cards for months after the product’s been out, does it really matter if they say 2012-13 or 2013-14 on them?

    Someone brought up concerns with the Artifacts redemptions. I’m pretty sure I got my 2011-12 Artifacts RCs just a few weeks before 2012-13 Artifacts came out. [I’d forgotten about them and had no idea where they’d come from]. They weren’t even signed and didn’t have any memorabilia on them, so I’m not sure what that delay was all about, but at that point, it didn’t really matter what year was on the cards. I’d rather see the RCs delayed if it means less redemptions, more hard-signed AUs, more MEM cards & a better quality product. And I’d rather see product lines cancelled then buying a case something to have it turn out to be some junk product that I can’t get my money’s worth out of.

    While I’m sure it’s would be no big deal to have Nail Yakupov on a 2012-13 UD Series II Young Gun card, if you think about what’s involved in all of the other aspects of the ‘Rookie Class’, the NHLPA thought it more important for their rookie class to be focused on the remainder of the shortened season and the card companies decided to wait until they could properly produce the new rookie class without rushing a poor quality [redemption filled] product to market. It sucks, collectors lose out, card stores lose out, but it says a lot about the dedication to quality that company’s are putting into their products.

    PS: On the topic of QA has anyone else noticed seen 2012-13 SP Game Used card #TC-33. That’s NOT Simon Despres. I noticed because his tongue wasn’t sticking out. [Has anyone seen a picture of Simon Despres on a card where his tongue ISN’T outside of his mouth? ] I’m pretty sure it’s Erik Gudbranson. Which leads me to wonder who’s jersey swatch is actually on the card?

    PPS: On the topic of creative ways to make up for the lack of the rookies, I did NOT appreciate UD Artifacts idea of using a limited number goalie subset in lieu of an extended rookie subset. I am SO glad I did NOT buy a case of that product. Who the heck wants to spend time open a case of packs with no goalies to look at on the base cards? [And what was the deal with Certified leaving Carey Price out of their base set? Jhonas Enroth gets to be on a Certified base card but not Carey? What’s up with that?]

  16. David Hollingsworth 18 January, 2013 at 00:58

    just my 2 cents here. If they had put a RC as we know them in producst like SPx, SP authentic, Contenders etc that use all auto RC, we would not have seen them until middle of the summer anyways as the production time is so long because of the time it takes to get all those autos.
    this will also make next years rookie crop better .
    And maybe someone from this years stuff will have a breakout year and really start driving what is out already.

  17. Mark Card Store Owner 18 January, 2013 at 21:36

    As a Brick and Mortar Card shop owner the NHLPA and the card companies have once again this year found a way to place a small business person in a serious situation. For any collectors that believe a card shop makes a ton of money they have lost sight of what eBay and the big card companies have done to the hobby. There was finally a light at the end of the tunnel for us folks in a year where passionate sports fans and hobbiests alike shared in the agony of missing an aspect of our Canadian heritage. I already have risk on every product every month while paying for Rent and every other Advertisent product that we are forced to buy form the ever empowered card companies, even with the rookie cards being included. Now this.

    Many collectors that have been in the hobby have not only said they are not collecting any more this year, but are now selling their collections. It is so sad that a group of people that are over-paid, ego driven individuals are making the little guy that is promoting their brand (ie. NHL, NHLPA, Panini and Upper Deck) suffer.

    There are a lot of people that were hurt this year by the strike, but it appears it is the card collectors and the card store owners that will continue to hurt. Such a disappointment, maybe it is my fault in being so surprised. Only thing to do is to cancel pre-orders and hope we can ride it out. We opened our doors because we loved the hobby, It is painful to listen to our customer’s frustration when there is nothing we can do for them. We already have to reduce prices to below or meet cost just to sell it. So, once again the collector’s values go down.

    Anyone thinking this is about quality in relation to redemption packing etc. Explain to me quality when companies like Upper Deck do nothing for a customer with damaged product. Where their customer service group disappears for months. This is more about money. Just think, your first box of Upper Deck Series One next year will be $80 the second $150. And be assured for those asking your store owner the question next year, they are making no more money…..and probable less just to keep a customer. Ask yourself who gets that money. Upper Deck’s The Cup EVERY YEAR is a great example of this logic. It’s joke, a creul, creul joke. Hurting collectors and store owners a like. I wish other card collectors much luck through this, I wish I had the answer to make them hears us. The only action I have is to cancel. Oh wait, they already cancelled most of it for us by not even making an effort to produce ulternate options. They only had 113 days!!!!!

  18. Scott from Stadium Sports Cards 20 January, 2013 at 15:05

    As a small business owner, I need product that creates interest amongst the area collectors. When the two sides came to an agreement, people were already calling about preordering series 2. Things were looking up as this year has been very tough with no hockey. Christmas sales were 1/3 of normal. Things were looking up.

    For those who know me/us, our card shop is a hobby and has been since 1989 – but not for my employees. We can only operate at a loss for so long before being forced to addressing the bottom line.

    When the NBA decided no new RC’s, the people we had in our area who did collect BK never came back. ZERO. We now have people saying the same thing about collecting hockey and they are now selling off their collections. The NHL is missing the

  19. RAYMOND DART 5 February, 2013 at 22:48

    Does this mean that most of the 2012-13 rookies cant even be redeamed even the #1 pick.wow then why are people still bidding on them.

    • Susan Lulgjuraj 6 February, 2013 at 10:10

      Unfortunately, it means nothing other than cards will be produced starting in July. UD didn’t clarify who will be on the cards yet.

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