Well, the NHL is back for another season, and while fans eagerly await the puck to drop, hockey collectors are anticipating the release of 2014-15 The Cup from Upper Deck on September 30.
The new version represents the 10th season for The Cup, and this high-end product again promises some big hits and on-card autographs.
A five-card tin (currently around $450 online) will contain a rookie autograph patch, an autograph patch, a base card, and two additional relic, autograph or low-numbered parallel cards.
The Autograph Rookie Patch cards can be found at two distinct levels — one level will be numbered to 99, with the other level at 249. Among the Autograph Patch cards are Limited Logos presented in three tiers —signed and numbered to 50, 25 and 10, respectively.
For the first time, all rookies in The Cup with feature game-worn jerseys. Keep in mind it’s a product still tied to last season rather than the one that’s set to open in October.
The base set will consist of 90 cards, with scarcer Gold Spectrum parallels. Veteran cards will be numbered to 5, with signed rookie cards numbered to 25. Base set Gold Auto Patches will be numbered to 10 and will include rookies. In a new twist, Red Foil Auto Tag parallels will be cards embedded with laundry tags; these cards will be numbered to 3. A Black Foil cards will include 1/1 versions with autographs and a Shield Logo variation.
Some collector favorites return this year. Brilliance autographs feature a shadowbox and will be inserted one in every four packs. Cup Enshrinements also returns, with player autographs written on top of an acetate sheet that blankets the card. These will be numbered to 99, with Duos numbered to 25 and Trios to 10.
Another favorite through the years has been the 1/1 “Property Of …” insert. This card features a piece of a player’s stick with his name on it. Notable Nameplates will feature a letter patch from a game-worn jersey. Interestingly, the cards will be numbered to the number of letters in the player’s last name. Alexander Ovechkin is a nice thought for limited numbering, and so is Wayne Gretzky. But if there was a Bobby Orr card … wow.
Booklet cards also will play a big role, with Dual Autograph Rookie Bookmarks. This autographed card will be numbered to 25 and will include a pair of rookies with some patch swatches. The Autograph Rookie Draft Board & Patch booklet also will be limited to 25 copies and will feature an autograph on the draft board used the night the player was selected. There also will be a patch in the card. Monumental Patches will be 1/1 cards with a signature and very large relic swatches.
Making its debut this season will be Autographed Legendary Gear booklets, which will be numbered to 5 and will feature some relics from the past. Autograph Rookie Gear booklets follow a similar pattern but will be numbered to 25.
Another newcomer is NHL Glory, a card numbered to 10 that will feature an autograph in a shadowbox design. It also will include a chrome NHL shield piece embedded under acetate.
The Exquisite Collection Rookie Auto Patch is another new insert that will be numbered to player’s jersey numeral.
Program of Excellence will be numbered to 10. This insert will celebrate Canada’s top international stars; Duals will be numbered to 5 and Trios will be limited to 3.
You can check out 2014-15 The Cup boxes and cases for sale here.