Few partners are happier to see the NHL season finally get underway than the league’s trading card partner. Just days before the new, abbreviated season gets underway, 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game-Used Hockey is on store shelves.
The high end release has been revamped from years prior and has a lower price point per pack, and features five packs per box with at least one autograph card and four other memorabilia or autograph cards per box.
“SP Game-Used has been given a nice makeover that we think collectors are going to love,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Hockey brand manager. “We have challenged our teams to come up with compelling new inserts that will bring collectors closer to the game and we believe they have succeeded. By improving the value collectors can find in packs, we think they will have a much more exciting pack-opening experience this year.”
Among the new insert sets are “Draft Day Marks” autograph cards that profile talented rookies and veterans on the day they were drafted. Collectors can chase these cards to put together the entire set that will spell out the player’s last name.
Rookie cards have always been a staple in the product, but each is now limited to each player’s jersey number with a twist being that the last card in each print run is a one-of-one-autograph for young stars like Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) and Sven Baertschi (Calgary Flames).
“Supreme Patches,” “Supreme Sticks,” and “Supreme Skates” are game-used memorabilia cards with pieces of jerseys, sticks and skates players used in actual games. The skate cards are a first for Upper Deck.
In an attempt to create some high-end buzz, collectors can also find rare 1-of-1 NHL Shield variation cards that include the league logo from game-used jerseys on the card.
Upper Deck was able to procure the actual goal net from Games 3, 4 and 6 of last year’s Stanley Cup final and Upper Deck will be including special Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils cards with swatches of the net embedded in them. Autograph variations will include authentic signatures on swatches derived from the leather net skirt from key players in the series like Adam Henrique, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Martin Brodeur and Wayne Gretzky who dropped the ceremonial puck before Game 3. Also look for ten different 1-of-1 “Jumbo” packs cards featuring large swatches from the oversized NHL shield patch taken from the net skirt.