How good is the DEL?

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Eagle Eye Cherry, May 10, 2015.

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  1. Eagle Eye Cherry

    Eagle Eye Cherry guitar player

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    compared to other leagues? What is it comparable to?

    Is the league more of a skater's league like the NLA? or more of a physical style like the NHL? is it more skill oriented wide open space KHL style league? what?

    what's the likelihood of the best DEL players making the NHL?
     
  2. Salzig

    Salzig I am laudable.

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    I think the DEL is worse than the KHL, NLA, SEL, Liiga but ahead of the Czech and Austrian league. The skill level is similiar to the AHL, plenty of good AHL players who won't make it to the NHL go to the DEL. That's why the DEL is for European hockey relatively (!) physical. The likelihood of the best DEL player making the NHL is not very high. The top players are usually former AHL players who didn't make it to the NHL. In recent years two undrafted German players had the opportunity to sign with an NHL team (Marcel Müller with the Leafs and David Wolf with the Flames). Müller didn't make it and at this point it doesn't seem likely that Wolf is going to become a regular NHL player, too.
     
  3. hage

    hage Registered User

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    Last season 8 of the 14 DEL teams had North American coaches plus there's a few NA GMs in the league. In some teams up to 50% of the players grew up in Canada or the US.

    I'd say the playing style is the most NA-like of all the European leagues, but without being overly physical since reffing and IIHF rules don't allow that.

    The best players in the DEL are usually North Americans who were close to making the NHL but never quite got there or they played in the NHL for some time untill they were'nt able to get a contract offer anymore. So overall they allready failed making it to the NHL and are therefore not of interest for any NHL teams.

    Scouts are usually looking for young talent they can bring to North America to develop them there. Those players usually leave Germany long before they become top DEL players.
     
  4. Eye of Ra

    Eye of Ra Registered User

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    Why are not more germans playing in SHL, KHL, NLA and Liiga?
     
  5. Maverick41

    Maverick41 Registered User Sponsor

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    There are not that many Germans that would be good enough to play a significant role for teams in those leagues, and also they can make just as much or probably more money in the DEL.
     
  6. zecke26

    zecke26 Registered User

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    yep. the lack of good german players make the few earn good money in the DEL. to make similar or more in KHL, SHL, Liiga or NLA they would have to be key imports in those leagues and i can't think of many germans who are that good.
     
  7. cyberdork

    cyberdork Registered User

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    Don't forget that we only have 27.000 registered players. That's about the same as Switzerland. Just have a look at this table:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey#Number_of_registered_players_by_country

    But Swiss kids still have the advantage that they are never far from an ice rink and so there is basically an option for every Swiss kid to get into the sport. In Germany it's much different, hockey is only played very locally. (We only have around 200 rinks in this country of 80 million people).

    Basically outside the traditional 'hockey towns' the sport is not considered to be an option for a child to learn. And also don't forget that soccer dominates all sports in Germany, plus handball and basketball are other popular "cheap" sports for kids to compete in, since they can be played everywhere.

    If we ever want to get ahead in the world ranking we need more kids to choose hockey as their sport and that can only be achieved by more rinks. But I'm afraid the number of rinks is actually on a decline.
     
  8. Milos Krasic

    Milos Krasic Ballin' in Poland

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    With Lewandowski signing with Dusseldorf today, there are no more Germans in the KHL.
     
  9. zecke26

    zecke26 Registered User

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    not yet at least. felix schütz seems to enjoy the KHL and would like to stay. not sure if there could be further interest in him.
    sasa martinovic could still-resign with zagreb.
    and there were denis reul to KHL rumors around the WC.
     
  10. varsaku

    varsaku Registered User

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    Are DEL teams not funding growth of hockey in their city? Are they not spending on their youth academies?
     
  11. Maverick41

    Maverick41 Registered User Sponsor

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    How are they supposed to? Most of them can't afford to do that. There is no big TV contract that brings in a lot of money. Sponsors only provide relatively little money as well. Only a few teams like Mannheim (SAP), Munich (Red Bull), Berlin and Hamburg (both AEG) really can afford to spend significant money. Most other teams have very limited resources and cannot increase their spending to a level that would actually make a difference.

    And then again, there are just not enough kids playing for it to make sense spending a lot of money, because with such a limited pool of players, even money can only get you so far. You would first have to spend even more money to recruit more kids for hockey which would be difficult anyway given how dominant football (soccer) is here.
    The cost-benefit ratio is probably not very enticing for teams or any would-be investors.
     
  12. cyberdork

    cyberdork Registered User

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    Many of the professional teams operate on the edge of bankruptcy. In the 20 year history of the DEL we had 16 teams that relegated to a lower tier division for financial reasons. TV licensing fees only provide the teams with €200.000 per year, while annual budgets range from €3mio to €15mio.

    Sponsor exposure is also pretty small. Only one game per week is broadcasted on TV and one is streamed on the internet. Coverage in the mainstream media is close to zero, there was barely any mentioning of the playoffs in sports sections of the major national newspapers.

    To grow hockey in Germany we need the sport to have more mainstream media exposure. Unfortunately that usually goes hand in hand with the performance of the national team. So in a sense we are in a vicious circle.

    However, I'm optimistic that German hockey has passed thru the lowest point and is on an upward trend. The new TV deal which brought the DEL back into freeTV with superb production quality broadcasts (thanks to Red Bull) is maybe the main reason. For almost 20 years the DEL was only available on an expensive pay-tv subscription (pay-tv is not very popular in Germany since we have so many free channels), I think back then games had in average a TV viewership of 50.000, now it's twice that number and playoff games get now up to 400.000 viewers.

    The league finally found a stable league configuration with 14 teams and best-of-7 playoffs. Cooperation between DEL, DEL2 and Oberliga clubs is happening. And attendance is is slowly going up every year. Lets hope it continues this way.
     
  13. Urbanskog

    Urbanskog Platinum Member

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    There's a more recent survey of players on the IIHF's site:
    http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/the-iihf/survey-of-players/

    So it seems that the number of players has grown from 27,068 to 29,371 in two years. Seems like a solid growth!
     
  14. varsaku

    varsaku Registered User

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    That's a huge difference in expenses. I am guessing that there is no salary cap. Would a salary cap help stabilize the teams financially.
    I know MLS is sticking with the salary cap to make sure teams are stable financially even if they can afford to spend massive amounts. Unfortunately the salary cap keeps us from competing with big clubs but ensures a steady growth.
     
  15. hage

    hage Registered User

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    A salary cap would just drag the richer teams down to the poorer team's level. The result would probably be that the better players leave Germany and go play somewhere else
     
  16. Eye of Ra

    Eye of Ra Registered User

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    Which german players in DEL is good enough to play significant role in those leagues according to you?
     
  17. Maverick41

    Maverick41 Registered User Sponsor

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    Aside from former NHL players Marcel Goc or Christian Ehrhoff, there are some established mostly older players like Patrick Reimer, Michael Wolf, Marcel Müller or David Wolf (all forwards) as well as defensemen Patrick Köppchen or Frank Hördler.

    Younger players (25 or under) who might be up to the task are forwards Matthias Plachta, Yasin Ehliz, Leo Pföderl and especially Dominik Kahun, who could be headed to the KHL next season. The only younger defenseman i can think of right now is Konrad Abeltshauser. Maybe in a couple of years Tim Bender or Jonas Müller could be good enough, too.

    Obviously this is just my opinion based on the games I watched this season and there were certainly some players I have watched more than others and some players I barely watched at all.
     
  18. SaltNPeca

    SaltNPeca Registered User

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    I would say AHL without the intensity, hitting, or fighting.
    The arenas can be full of very fun and enthusiastic fans, but... no replays or even a shot clock in Cologne.

    For European hockey it's a mix. I mean it's loaded with North American players and coaches, but played at low to medium intensity. So you have this North American style general strategy (breakouts, entries, dump-in's, and defense) with a more European intensity (don't get too excited, don't run around hitting, turn back to the bench on whistles, etc.)

    Close to none.

    To those guys claiming Ehrhoff:
    He had a good World Cup and the Bruins gave him a tryout. He was released, so there is no speculation. He might fit in a 7 or 8th depth spot on a bad or injury ridden team.

    Typical example DEL player Ryan Jones, Cologne:
    ~3 years in AHL (lackluster)
    worst team in the league picks him up and he plays for 4 years (EDM). grinder, bottom 6 player. Best season 17G 33P. Age 28
    tryout with Utica AHL, 5 games 1A, then released.
    signs with Cologne DEL, performs as a top 6 forward. Age 32+
     
  19. CraigEhlo

    CraigEhlo Registered User

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    I think the DEL is worse than the SEL, NLA, and KHL.
     
  20. jnk96

    jnk96 @janikbeichler

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    Huge if true
     
  21. LemmyUlanov55

    LemmyUlanov55 4th line grinder

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    I don't think anyone doubts that around here.. :laugh: You might wanna add Liiga aswell..
     
  22. Lataba76

    Lataba76 Registered User

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    And Czech Extraleague!
     
  23. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    I think at this point DEL is pretty much on par with those.
     
  24. Eye of Ra

    Eye of Ra Registered User

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    Agreed.

    1: NHL
    2: KHL
    3: SHL/NLA
    4: DEL/Liiga/Czech league
     
  25. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    The Liiga has without a doubt worsened significantly after Jokerit left for the KHL, but unfortunately the DEL still isn't anywhere near that good. The level of talent just isn't good enough in Germany compared to the leading hockey countries or even Switzerland. Too often German teams still have one scoring line consisting of fairly decent imports, and three grinding lines that may cheerfully have some local boys in them but are pain to watch for any other reason.

    In terms of wins and losses the DEL teams were down 2-6 against Finnish opponents in the CHL last season, likewise 3-4 against Swedish and 3-7 against Swiss.

    Against Czech league teams there was a 2-2 parity and Orli Znojmo of the Austrian league was thrashed by the Eisbären. I guess that's pretty much representative of the current situation.

    One could say that ignoring the occasional bankruptcy the situation has stayed pretty stable for years already and in some ways that's a good thing, the DEL still has awesome fan bases second only to soccer in Germany, but at the same time the lack of growth is remarkable when other medium-sized sports like handball and especially basketball have been booming and have caught up the lead hockey used to have still some years ago.

    Overall I don't want to be too negative, the DEL is not a horrible league in itself and the potential is there like it always was, but German hockey definitely would need new impulses in order to be able to compete with the established powerhouses in European hockey and at the moment I can't see that happening.
     
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