Germany cup sign to del: “it works”
Probably never since the first tournament in 1987 has the sporting outcome of the ice hockey germany cup been as insignificant as it was this year.
Latvia’s tournament victory by the 3:2 (1:2, 0:0, 1:0) after verlangerung in krefeld against the german team was of interest only on the sidelines. The 31. The 18th edition of the german ice hockey federation’s home tournament was nevertheless perhaps the most important of all. "The roughest success we could set for ourselves is to give the signal to everyone in the sport, including the league, that it can be done. It works," DEB president franz reindl said with relief on the sidelines of the most unusual germany cup so far.
After eight months of corona-induced standstill in german ice hockey and a year without a national game, the german ice hockey federation had made a major effort to at least be able to hold the traditional tournament. "Of course we will make minus, but we can do it. We have to move forward as a top association," said reindl.
300,000 euros lost by no means rich association due to lack of spectator income. In addition, there were the costs for pandemic-compliant care of the teams in the bubble and about 500 corona tests. According to the DEB, all of them were negative – and that’s the only thing reindl wanted to be judged on. "A successful tournament when we don’t have a corona fall. That would be the biggest success for everyone."
Despite sunday’s defeat in the final, the 65-year-old’s mission was accomplished after a tough battle. The ex-national player had set his mind on giving the entire sport, which had attracted attention during the pandemic mainly due to representatives of the german ice hockey league complaining and moaning, a stage, hope and a perspective again. "I have to be honest: money doesn’t matter now. Now it’s a matter of survival. We have to present ourselves. This is what we have done now."The DEB also accepted the absence of national coach toni soderholm, who had been infected with the corona virus prior to the tournament.
The players, who had been unable to play for months, gratefully accepted the opportunity despite adverse circumstances. "We’re all happy that we were able to get back on the ice and that the tournament went off without a hitch," said leon gawanke of the berlin icemen on sunday after the overtime loss to latvia, the only nation willing to take part in the actual four-nation tournament despite the dangers posed by rising infection levels in europe. In its distress, the DEB provided a third participant in its own olympic perspective team itself.
The players didn’t care about the format. "This can’t be overstated," said longtime NHL pro korbinian holzer. "This is a huge, huge step in the right direction to get the DEL going as well," matthias plachta said.
Now the league, which is particularly dependent on spectator income, is being challenged. Unlike the national leagues in handball and basketball, the german ice hockey league has not yet been in a position to begin play. On 19. November it will be decided again. Before that, a specially created preparatory tournament with eight of the 14 DEL clubs and one game a day into december will start on wednesday as a kind of test run.
"For the DEL, of course, it’s going to be even more difficult," reindl admitted. Leaving teams in a bubble for a few days is different from running a full season. "But that can be handled too. It works in soccer, too," said optimist reindl, who, in contrast to other DEB representatives, deliberately refrained from criticizing the DEL’s image.
DEB sports director stefan schaidnagel, on the other hand, always sought confrontation in his efforts to advance the sport. The 39-year-old was absent from krefeld. "He’s been out since 19. October sick leave. That’s our declaration on it," said reindl only. This leaves room for speculation, questions about it remain unanswered. According to dpa information, however, schaidnagel is actually ill.