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NHL, Reebok team up to fight counterfeit hockey merchandise sales

Sports commentator Francois Gagnon holds up a counterfeit jersery with the name of Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier spelled incorrectly on Thursday, September 29, 2011 in Montreal. The National Hockey League launched a campaign against counterfeiting of their products. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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Sports commentator Francois Gagnon holds up a counterfeit jersery with the name of Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier spelled incorrectly on Thursday, September 29, 2011 in Montreal. The National Hockey League launched a campaign against counterfeiting of their products. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL - The National Hockey League is teaming with the Montreal Canadiens and sports equipment company Reebok in a bid to eliminate counterfeit hockey jerseys and other gear.

The program will start with the Canadiens and may expand to the other 29 NHL clubs later, a spokesman said.

"Fans sould understand that there is no way of knowing what you're getting when you purchase counterfeit merchandise," Tom Prochnow, the NHL's vice-president of legal affairs, said in a statement.

Beginning with the Canadiens regular season home opener on Oct. 13, there will be ads on radio and other media. A quiz on counterfeits will run on the Bell Centre scoreboard.

Montreal is considered a hub of counterfeit hockey merchandise.

The league said authentic merchandise has the NHL hologram sticker or hangtag in a sewn-in label. The league warned that fans should look for ripped tags, poor quality screen printing and typographical errors, particularly in player names, to detect counterfeits.

A false Tampa Bay Lightning jersey with captain Vincent Lacavalier's name misspelled was on display at the announcement.

It said most counterfeits are manufactured abroad and sold on the Internet through individual, wholesale or auction websites.

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