I just recently heard the news that after Panini's licence with the NHL expired this summer, Topps was recently granted the licence to product the NHL Sticker Collection for the next 5 years.
Now, some of you may be thinking: I thought Upper Deck has an exclusive deal with the NHL?
Yes, and while that is very true, the key to these licences is in the details. Upper Deck holds the exclusive rights to produce NHL licensed Trading Cards, while Stickers fall into a different collectible category, so another agreement must be made with the NHL in order to product NHL licenced stickers, too.
Panini has held the sticker licence for a long time now, as they are the king when it comes to collectible stickers, so I was glad to see them still continue to produce something NHL-related after their trading card licence with the NHL expired after the 2013-14 season.
However, with that being said, I have taken a liking to what Topps has done with their Topps NHL Skate Digital App, and although they haven't held a NHL trading card licence since the early 2000's, I am hopeful that this is a trail period for Topps and the NHL to see how they can influence and sell actual physical products (instead of just the digital offerings) within the hockey collectible market. If Topps does well here, would they be considered when the next NHL trading card licence is up for grabs in a few years? Who knows, but I'm playing the optimistic card on this one (pun totally intended).
If these new stickers are anything like their digital offerings we've seen from Topps Skate, then I think the designs will be fresh and it will be very popular amongst collectors across the globe.
The release date for the 2019-20 NHL Sticker Collection is set for November 15th, 2019.
Welcome back to the NHL, Topps. We've missed you.
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting Hockey cards since the late 90's. Mainly the goalies since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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Beyond The Crease: A Hockey Card Blog