Had it not been for the NHL and NHLPA’s decision not to allow their players to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics, Germany would have relied heavily on the likes of Leon Dresser, Tim Stutzl and Moritz Seid. Instead, they hope to replicate their performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics, when they played in the gold medal match and lost to Russia in a thrilling overtime.Four years from now, fans of the sport will see a similar team as the NHL officially To leave a race December 22, 2021.
At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, 29-year-old Patrick Hager led the team with 3 goals and 7 points in 7 games. At the age of 33, he has spent the past five seasons at EHC Munich in the German ice hockey league, and while he is not known for being a score producer, he played for his country four years ago.
After a brief stint in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, Dominik Kahun is now eligible for the Olympics, following his stint with Bern SC in the Swiss National League A division. Signed a three-year contract.exist Chopped by the oil man. Cajon, then 22, trailed Hagrid with two goals and five points, including one in the gold medal match.
It was the country’s first ever silver medal, and only two bronze medals (1932 – Lake Placid, 1976 – Innsbruck). In international competitions, Germany has won 6 silver and 3 bronze medals, however, their last podium finish was at the 1953 World Championships in Switzerland.
German hockey program continues to grow
While primarily known for its hockey program, Germany has a sizable share of the NHL’s top talent.From former players such as two-time Stanley Cup winner Uwe Krupp and 1999-00 Vezina Trophy winner Olaf Kolziger, for things like Draisaitl and Tim Stutzl, they don’t often produce NHL-level players, but when they do, they’re reliable and serviceable. The typical size of a German player is tough and doesn’t back down from a fight. They won’t improve the score, but they will do everything in their power to make sure the opponent doesn’t outscore them.
“…What Germany lacks in star names, it makes up for with teamwork and determination.”
At each location, you can see a theme among players. Whether it’s forwards like Draisaitl and Tom Kuhnhackl, defenders like Dennis Seidenberg and Christian Ehrhoff, or goalkeepers like Kolzig and Philipp Grubauer, they all play in a way that’s proud, hard to beat and confrontational. Have a strong sense of team and always work collectively like a well-oiled machine, they are at their best when they operate as a unit.
Apart from a silver medal in Pyeongchang in 2018, Germany has only finished on the podium twice. In 1932, they won a bronze medal in comedy. During that time, they were one of only four participating teams, the other three being Canada, the United States and Poland. Poland finished 0-6, while Germany conceded 26 goals in six games. Then, in 1976, Germany would take bronze again. On the final day of the game, they represented West Germany in a 4-1 victory over the United States. While celebrating what they thought was a fourth-place finish, they were told they had won the bronze medal due to the tie-breaking measure. To this day, it is still considered one of the greatest moments in German ice hockey history.
To date, the Germans have participated in 20 Olympic Games, the earliest at the St. Moritz Olympics in 1928. The team, coached by Erich Römer, finished ninth out of 11 participating teams, followed by a bronze medal in 1932. Between 1936 and 1972, Germany ranked no higher than fifth, until 1976, when it won the bronze medal again. After failing to finish above 5th from 1980 to 2010, the team failed to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Arguably, they bounced back in 2018, lead Russia to overtime In the gold medal match, they ended up with a silver medal.
Interesting facts about the German team and its players
- Of the 44 German players in the NHL, only 19 have reached 100 or more. There are currently 5 players playing and less than 100 games.
- Draisaitl currently leads all German-born players in assists (334) and points (559). He played in 512 games, more than 400 fewer than second-scoring Marco Sturm (487). Only he has more career goals than Draisaitl’s 242, but with Draisaitl’s current 225, that’s likely to change soon.
- Despite splitting into West and East Germany in 1949, the two sides formed a unified team in 1952, 1956 and 1960. Their grades were no higher than 6th.
- They will be reunited as a nation in 1990, but won’t be on the podium until 2018.
- While no German-born players are currently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame has 13 German players. Most notably Krupp, who scored the winning goal as part of the Colorado Avalanche that won the 1996 Stanley Cup, beating the Florida Panthers.
- The German national team has a retired number; Robert Dietrich’s #20. Sadly, Dietrich was on the Yaroslavl Locomotive plane that crashed in 2011, which took the lives of everyone on board.
- Finnish-born Toni Söderholm will be the head coach of the 2022 Olympics. He led the team to two World Championships, finishing 6th in 2019 and 4th in 2021.
German superstars on the world stage
Names like Draiisaitl and Stutzle are still waiting to make their mark on the Olympic stage, and Germany’s biggest stars include Kolzig, Ehrhoff and Marcel Goc. Markus Egen is the country’s leader in goals (14) and points (16). He competed in three Olympic Games (1952, 1956 and 1960) and participated in 21 events. Stefan Ustorf leads all Germans (24) in the races he has participated in, and has competed in four Winter Olympics (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006). He now serves as Germany’s hockey director and has spent some minutes with the Washington Capitals. As a goalkeeper, Uli Jensen has participated in three Olympics (1956, 1960 and 1964), with a record 4-8-1 record in 13 games.
Just like in 2018, Germany will rely on players from the silver medalist team and youth players who don’t have much experience at international level. If the 2021 IIHF World Championship roster is any indication of what the German team looks like, expect names like Korbinian Holzer, Tobias Reid, Matthias Praheta, and Luke Reicher, and many returning players from four years ago. This will be the perfect mix of young and veterans who have seen the final stages of the Olympics, so expect the team to be equally competitive.
Where do German players come from?
With only eight Germans currently playing in the NHL, the team already plans to seek help elsewhere to fill the roster and celebrate the NHL’s elite talent. However, now that the NHL has pulled out of the Olympics, most, if not all, players are expected to drop out of the German Ice Hockey League, perhaps with the exception of Reed, who currently plays for the Swedish Ice Hockey League. Eisbaren Berlin’s leading scorer Marcel Noebels and Adler Mannheim’s Felix Bruckmann are just two notable players at DEL who can come in and make an impact.
It used to seem far-fetched to believe that Germany had a chance on the podium, but that is no longer the case. Going into the 2022 Winter Olympics, this team is eager to repeat the success of 2018, and as it competes with teams from other countries to level the playing field, their mission is to give teams without NHL talent the icing on the cake. As a team that is always tough, never backs down, and capable of fighting in adversity, hopefully Germany will be as competitive as ever.
Covers the Nashville Predators. I work for a company called SPORTLOGiQ and have loved the game of hockey for over three years. I’m obsessed with advanced analytics and combine it with my love of vision testing – namely watching games (and I do!)