Looking to purchase Flyers' Stanley Cup playoff merchandise?

If so, be careful of counterfeiting, warns Tom Prochnow, group vice president, legal and business affairs at NHL Enterprises L.P.

"Last year during the finals and the playoffs, we were involved with law enforcement in seizing over 3,100 pieces of counterfeit NHL merchandise with a retail value of approximately $200,000," Prochnow said. "And given that Chicago and Philadelphia are bigger cities than Detroit and Pittsburgh [last year's Stanley Cup finalists], I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with more than that this year."

According to Prochnow, the league has been cracking down on eliminating the distribution of counterfeit hats, T-shirts and jerseys throughout Philadelphia with the aid of both local and federal authorities. However, he cautions, apparel-counterfeiting operations are prevalent and therefore fans need to take precautions when making purchases.

"The No. 1 thing to look for when buying merchandise is that it has an official NHL hologram hang tag or sticker," Prochnow said. "All of our licensed products should have one of those on them."

Prochnow said that fans can determine authenticity by tilting the merchandise so they can see the hologram of the NHL shield. The shield should change from NHL to LNH (the French acronym for NHL).

"We have seen some counterfeit hang tags, but they don't have the hologram effect," Prochnow said. "So if you look at if carefully, that should be a good way to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit merchandise."

Prochnow also mentioned that fans should buy merchandise from team stores and local sporting goods stores, rather than out of someone's duffel bag.

"If the price is too good to be true, it probably is," Prochnow said.

As for counterfeit tickets, Prochnow said that was not his area of expertise. However, he did mention that there was a bit of ticket counterfeiting going on around the arenas.

"There hasn't been a lot of selling on-site," he said. "It's basically all online." *