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Bad News for NHL Rookie Card Collectors in 2012-13

January 21, 2013

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I was catching up on my back log of hobby-related blog articles this weekend and came across something posted by Brian Price (President of In The Game) that included some information that came as a pretty substantial surprise to me.

Apparently the NHLPA has decided to restrict the players who can appear on 2012-13 Rookie Cards to those who appeared in NHL games between the 2012 All-Star Game and the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

In other words, the only rookies who we’ll see featured on a hockey card this season are they guys we’ve already seen in the existing 2012-13 releases.

That means no Yakupov, no Huberdeau, no 2013 draftees at all.

My reaction can basically be called one of disbelief.  How in the world could the NHLPA deem this to be a good idea?  How can this possibly be good for the manufacturers?  How is this good for dealers?  And what about collectors who were looking forward to finally seeing new players appear in products?

I haven’t come across any sort of announcement from Upper Deck yet, but Panini has done their best to put a positive spin on the situation

I’m just not buying it though.  I’m not a major collector of rookies, but knowing that I have a chance to pull the latest first round draft picks in a product is definitely something I consider a positive.

With just two releases left to expect from Panini (which inexplicably includes “Rookie Anthology”), this announcement has certainly taken some of the collecting related excitement out of hockey’s return for me.

Sure, 2013-14 products are going to be truly impressive when it comes to Rookie Card selection.  It will be very much 2005-06 when two years worth of rookies appeared after the 2004-05 lockout.

But that lockout wiped out an entire season.  In this situation we have hockey, but all we’re left with for the remainder of the products is a bunch of guys who made their NHL debuts late in the 2011-12 season, who more often than not are just getting a cup of coffee with the big club before never being heard from again.

Sure there’s the Chris Kreiders and Sven Baertshis out there to offer collectors at least a couple of options when it comes to blue chip prospects, but the bulk of the players do nothing to make me want to rush out and buy a box for a chance at pulling one of them.

Even more reason for me to chase some Motown Madness in 2012-13, if I choose to chase anything at all.


What are your thoughts on this announcement?  Will you collect as usual or hold off until the dual rookie crop of 2013-14 arrives on the scene.

Let me know by posting a comment, connecting on Facebook and Twitter, or emailing me at

Until next time, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Bateman permalink
    January 21, 2013 8:45 PM

    The NBA did it last year.


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