Düsseldorfer EG

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Düsseldorfer EG
Düsseldorfer EG
Greatest successes
  • eight-time German champion : 1967, 1972, 1975, 1990–1993 and 1996
  • German second division champion 2000
  • German cup winner 2006
Club information
history Düsseldorfer EG (1935–2001)
DEG Metro Stars (2001–2012)
Düsseldorfer EG (since 2012)
Nickname DEG
Parent club Düsseldorfer EG eV
Club colors Red - yellow
league German ice hockey league
Venue ISS Dome
capacity 13,400 seats (including 9,400 seats)
executive Director Stefan Adam
Head coach Harold Circle
captain Alexander Barta
Season 2019/20 5th place / no playoff participation

The Düsseldorfer Eislauf-Gemeinschaft (DEG) is a traditional ice hockey club from Düsseldorf that plays in the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) and is one of the founding members of the DEL. Between 2001 and 2012 he performed as DEG Metro Stars . The professional department has been organized in an independent gaming company, DEG Eishockey GmbH , since 1997 . The parent association has a 26% stake in the GmbH. The other shareholders are Peter and Stephan Hoberg with 30.8% each and Peter Völkel with 12.4%. The youth and amateur department is still organized in the parent club. The traditional club colors of DEG are red and yellow.

In 1997 the inline hockey department of the Düsseldorfer EG was outsourced to the association DEG Rhein Rollers eV .

The DEG was a total of eight German champions and is the only club that has been German champions four times in a row since the foundation of the Bundesliga in 1958 and DEL 1994 (1990-1993) and holds one with 14 playoff series wins in a row (1990-1994) still valid today.


The early years (1935-1945)

The D üsseldorfer E islauf- G was on November 8, 1935 on the initiative of the Dusseldorf steel industrialists and ommunity sports patron Ernst Poensgen founded. The topping-out ceremony for the new ice rink on Brehmstrasse was celebrated on September 26, 1935 . After Berlin and Munich, the Düsseldorf stadium was the third ice rink in Germany and the eighth ice rink in Europe. In addition to the three German stadiums, these were in London, Paris, Vienna, Budapest and Zurich. At that time the stadium held 8,000 spectators.

Ernst Poensgen - builder of the ice rink and founder of the DEG association (picture from 1926)

The first two ice hockey games took place in the new stadium on November 23. The multiple German champions and national top team of the time, the Berliner SC , played twice against a team from Amsterdam and won 7-1 and 4-2. One of the first stars of German ice hockey, Gustav “Justav” Jaenecke, was there . The 13-time German champion at the end of his career immediately impressed the Düsseldorf audience and enthused them for ice hockey.

Further games caused an initial ice hockey euphoria. Visiting teams from the motherland of ice hockey Canada showed their skills. The DEG played against teams from the Bergisches Land that no longer exist today, such as Remscheid or Radevormwald , which at the time were still able to train on frozen village ponds thanks to the colder winters.

At that time, DEG played a remarkable 1: 1 against the Canadians; Rumor has it that Canadians got drunk from the Altbier they had consumed the night before . The DEG played against the national team of the USA and the finals of the German ice hockey championship took place in Düsseldorf. The figure skating was not neglected either, in the Olympic year 1936 the entire world elite made guest appearances on Brehmstrasse .

DEG's first coach was a Czechoslovak whose name is no longer known today. He was followed by the Canadian Robert A. "Bobby" Bell , under whom the first team and the youth of DEG were trained on a professional level for the first time. Bell, once a player himself for Canada, is said to have stayed in Düsseldorf because of his love for a woman.

The first ice hockey players in the DEG club's history are: Dr. Hans Seyppel, Horst "Grandpa" Orbanowski (born in Düsseldorf and already multiple national players and German champion with Berlin), his brother Kurt Orbanowski, Bernd Rickmann, Jochen Hake and Werner Lucas. Toni Wiedemann from EV Füssen and Walter Schmidinger from SC Riessersee stayed with DEG as guest players because they could be offered jobs in their professions in addition to training. Baron Fabian von Massenbach, Günter Thelen and Manfred Trippe were also tied to the club as further players.

Trainers trained for a monthly salary of 375 Reichsmarks for coach Bell, and youth work was also promoted. Bell recruited young players, mostly against the will of their parents, from the camp of the figure skating department because they were good skaters. He also made sure that his protégés performed well at school; a bad grade resulted in a training ban. During this time, the DEG achieved notable success in the fight for the German championship, so the still young club came third several times. In 1938, DEG was tied with the Berlin SC German runner-up behind SC Riessersee . Behind the then successful teams, record champions Berlin with top players Gustav Jaenecke and Rudi Ball , who was considered one of the best clubs in Europe, and SC Riessersee from Garmisch-Partenkirchen , DEG was number three in Germany at the time.

Other formative DEG players of the 1930s were goalkeeper Max Rohde, Lowka Dawidow from the Baltic States, Dr. Helmut Becker, Günter Brückner, Roman Kessler, Kurt Dicker, Lucien Brühl, Hans Gutgesell, Hans-Walter Rahrbach, Hans Walter, Klaus Walter, Rolf Tobien, Walter Tobien, and Messrs. Leonards and Blumberg. The experienced Horst Orbanowski, who supported club founder Poensgen in building up the team, grew up to be a leading player and the right hand of coach Bell. The figure skaters, under the direction of stadium manager Werner Rittberger , himself runner-up in the world and eleven times German champion as well as coach of the Düsseldorf youngsters, (today mainly known for the jump named after him, Doppelter Rittberger ), thrilled the audience with good performances.

With the Second World War , the ice hockey euphoria ended for the time being. Because of the blackout, games could only be played in the afternoons, and the delivery of equipment from Canada became more sparse. The players had to make do with ever more adventurous own creations made of cardboard and fabric. In the spring of 1943 there was an air alarm during a game. Players and spectators got to safety, but the stadium was hit by two small bombs on the north side. After the all-clear, the rubble was quickly cleared away and the event continued with a delay. In 1944, however, the ice rink was so badly damaged by further Allied bombing that a sporting event could no longer be held. In the last German championship before the end of the war, which was mostly held as a perseverance event for the population in 1944, the DEG reached third place. In the two previous years, the title fights had to be canceled. It was one of the last sporting events ever, on August 4, 1944, the National Socialist Reichsführerring für physical exercises NSRL announced that all Reich championships in German sport would be suspended.

Coach Bobby Bell, meanwhile also coach of the SC Riessersee and a Mannheim team as well as the Reich coach of the German national ice hockey team , was murdered in Abbeville, Belgium in the turmoil of the post-war days in 1945 under circumstances that were never clarified. Some sources speak of a martial law shooting, others of the fact that he was arrested, convicted and executed as an alleged Nazi spy.

After the war (1945–1960)

Logo of the DEG Metro Stars at the time (at the entrance to the ice rink on Brehmstrasse, the venue from 1935 to 2006) - Photo from 2006

After the devastation of the war, which had deeply affected the ice rink and the entire district of Düsseltal , there were more important problems than sport. A short time later, "Grandpa" Orbanowski formed with the surviving players Kessler, Dicker, Hillmann, Ulrich, Dr. Becker, Trippe, Rahrbach and goalkeeper Rohde formed the first DEG post-war team. Despite numerous debris clearing actions by the players as well, the reconstruction of the stadium on Brehmstrasse did not go well. New ice hockey centers were built elsewhere. Krefeld , where patron Willi Münstermann , thanks to his good relations with the Allies, managed to provisionally restore the stadium on Hindenburgstrasse (today Westparkstrasse), and Bad Nauheim , where the American troops opened an ice rink under the name Colonel Knight Stadium .

The DEG trained in Krefeld, where the club was granted hospitality rights from December 1945. On January 19 and 20, 1946, the first post-war event took place in Krefeld. In addition to figure skating and speed skating , two ice hockey encounters between Krefelder EV and Düsseldorfer EG were on the program (results from the DEG point of view 0: 7 and 2: 1).

The team traveled by train to games against other re-established teams through destroyed post-war Germany, including to Bad Nauheim. Since there was no team there yet, DEG played against Münchner SC (2: 1). Then it went to the often pre-war opponents SC Riessersee. The SCR won the game 8-2, also because the club now had better opportunities to provide the players (including old star Gustav Jaenecke, who had survived the war and came from Berlin) with food and to train. The DEG was celebrated at the reception and at the farewell, not least because the Rhinelander evacuated to Bavaria had come together for a home meeting.

In 1946, the North Rhine-Westphalia Ice Sports Association was founded. Horst Orbanowski became chairman, Willi Münstermann ice hockey chairman and Werner Rittberger, who now lived and trained in Krefeld, took part in the board's work with the post of skating supervisor. A NRW championship was held. It was here that DEG won its first title, that of the NRW champion in 1946 . An unofficial German championship with the participants Krefelder EV , SC Riessersee , EV Füssen and the Düsseldorfer EG was also played out and won by Krefeld. Subsequently, however, this event was declared an interzone championship, the official German championship took place a little later between the west, north and south champions Krefelder EV, Berlin Eichkamp (the temporarily new name of the Berliner SC) and SC Riessersee. Since the Krefelders, who already saw themselves as champions, did not compete in protest, there was only one game that SC Riessersee won and thus became the first ice hockey champion of the post-war period. Here, too, the better supply situation and training opportunities for Garmisch in comparison to the destroyed and divided Berlin came to light. Berlin was no longer a competition in ice hockey.

The reconstruction of the ice rink on Brehmstrasse was delayed further, whereupon the DEG team broke up. The opening took place in December 1949. In the opening game the EC Bad Nauheim played against the Cologne EK , where Horst Orbanowski had ended up in the meantime. A DEG team was put together again over the course of the next year. The majority of the former team had played in association with Preussen Krefeld until then and with this club reached sixth place and second place twice in the German championship. Orbanowski, who has meanwhile lived in the USA, also played again for DEG, whose team now mainly consisted of other pre-war veterans such as Hillmann, Dicker, Gorliani, Rahrbach, Dr. Frangenheim, Dr. Becker, Trippe, Bretzner, Rohde and the young player Brindel existed.

In the early 1950s, DEG initially played in the highest ice hockey league, the Oberliga founded in 1947, but was downgraded to the state league due to a controversial association judgment. The team has now been trained by Rainer Hillmann. Guest players at the time included Frank Trottier from Canada and Engelbert Holderied from Füssen, both of whom would later become DEG coaches. Merger plans with Fortuna Düsseldorf failed due to the resistance of the DEG, and the rival association Düsseldorf EHC , founded in November 1954 , did not prevail and dissolved. A takeover attempt by the neighboring club DSC 99 also failed.

A period of ascents and descents followed. Canadian coaches such as Clare "Jimmi" Drake, Gerald Strong and Frank Trottier began to work to get DEG out of the deep. They were followed by Vlastimil Suchoparek from Czechoslovakia , but there was no success. In the meantime, the figure skating department was continued. The figure skating couple Ria Baran and Paul Falk , multiple athletes of the year and two-time world champions in the early 1950s, won gold at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo. The successful couple was based on Brehmstrasse and trained there.

In 1958, the ice hockey Bundesliga was founded as the new highest league . DEG was a founding member, but had little chance against the ice hockey strongholds from Bavaria, EV Füssen , EC Bad Tölz and SC Riessersee , and was relegated together with SG Wessling-Starnberg . DEG spent the next few years mainly in the Oberliga, which now functions as the second division.

With the engagement of Engelbert Holderied from Füssen as a trainer, the sporting situation stabilized and the goal was to get promoted soon.

The 1960s - rise and success

In 1965, DEG was promoted to the Bundesliga as second in the league. With the team consisting of Rainer Gossmann (later President of the German Ice Hockey Federation ) and Brück im Tor, Lotz, Hübbers , Farthmann and Kaltenhäuser in defense, as well as Werdermann, Schmitz, Gregory, Wylach, Heitmüller, J. Breidenbach, Tasler, Claus Speth, Heyer and Hüllinghoff in the storm, DEG was one of the best teams in the league.

The audience numbers rose again and reached the high pre-war numbers. In 1963, 5500 spectators per game were counted in the second-class league, even in the Bundesliga hardly any team achieved these numbers.

In the middle of the decade, DEG chairman Hans Ramroth learned that the two Tölz ice hockey players, defender Otto Schneitberger and striker Josef “Sepp” Reif , wanted to retire from ice hockey for professional reasons. Ramroth persuaded the two of them to undertake an unprecedented process that was extraordinary for the German ice hockey industry at the time. Both players moved from Bavaria to the Rhineland for Düsseldorfer EG. The master coach of EC Bad Tölz and 101-time national player Hans Rampf , who still had a contract with EHC Holzkirchen as a player-coach, was hired as DEG coach for the following season. In the big city, the athletes not only had the opportunity to play ice hockey at a high level, but also to advance professionally, which was hardly possible in the Bavarian province at the time.

The change caused an outcry in Bavaria. The country, and especially Bad Tölz, was angry and wanted to avert what was then called the impossible process . Threats against the players and hate speech campaigns in the press caused Schneitberger to flee to Düsseldorf. Both players were banned for a year on Tölzer's initiative, until after long negotiations a clearance for friendly matches was given. The DEG managed to rise without the two players, so that Reif's and Schneitberger's first league appearances took place in the Bundesliga in the 1965/1966 season.

Hans Rampf joined as a trainer in 1965/1966, as agreed. To the previous native Düsseldorf players a. a. Speth and Bayern Reif and Schneitberger were joined by the former Dortmund Bundesliga players Jablonski and Löggow, whose former club ERSG Iserlohn was dissolved, as well as GDR national player Erich Böttcher, who had withdrawn during a guest appearance by his club SC Dynamo Berlin . The audience response was great, long waiting times had to be accepted in order to get one of the 10,500 tickets for Brehmstraße. The DEG lost only 2 of 13 home games, the reigning champions Bad Tölz were defeated twice. Atom-Otto Schneitberger became the superstar of the DEG at the time, which took third place in the championship.

It became clear that after almost 15 years of Bavarian dominance, competition was developing from the Rhineland. In the 1966/67 season, DEG was four points ahead of defending champion Bad Tölz, the winner of the finals and thus German champions in 1967 . DEG thus received championship honors in the Bundesliga in its second year. Although the title was not defended in the coming years, the club had successfully established itself in the top German division.

The 1970s - championships and league change

The eighth decade of the 20th century began as the previous one ended. Although no further championship titles were won, the team initially acted successfully. In the years after the 1967 title, the Bavarian teams dominated again. Three times old master Füssen under coach Markus Egen (1968, 1969, 1971) and for the first time the EV Landshut (1970) with the young Erich Kühnhackl were the title winners. DEG initially took fourth and second place. Hans Rampf, who moved back to his homeland in 1970, followed with Dr. Ladislav Horsky from Bratislava a 50-time national player of the Czechoslovak Republic and an experienced coach. However, Horsky did not get along with the environment and the players and did not find the right tone with the team, so that there was a break between him and Otto Schneitberger. After being replaced after eighth place, Tölz 'coach Mike Daski was initially favored as his successor. However, since the latter made unfulfillable financial demands, the decision was made to go for the long-time former Füssen national player Xaver Unsinn , the “man with the pepita hat” or “Mr. Ice hockey ” , who had already gained coaching experience in lower-class clubs such as Kaufbeuren, Augsburg and Cologne.

The ice rink on Brehmstrasse was roofed in 1969; before that, fans were able to fire off fireworks rockets, as at the championship celebration in 1967. After a short dry spell, DEG was again more successful. In addition to Xaver Nonsense, this had to do with a move. During a guest appearance by the top Czech club Sparta Prague in Düsseldorf on September 15, 1968, the national player and silver medalist of the 1968 Olympic Games , Petr Hejma , stood out from his team. Hejma saw no future in the ČSSR and wanted to play ice hockey in the West; his wife, a table tennis player, was allowed to leave the country shortly afterwards.

This created political waves during the Cold War era and the recently crushed Prague Spring . The Czechoslovak Association applied to the World Association IIHF for an international ban. Although Hejma quickly obtained German citizenship, he was banned for 18 months. Despite some professional offers from the USA, he decided to wait for this time to be able to storm for DEG from 1970. In addition to Hejma, Unsinn was also able to fall back on the newcomers Rudolf Potsch (also from the ČSSR) and goalkeeper Rainer Makatsch (father of actress Heike Makatsch ) from Bad Nauheim. The 1970/71 season ended with a second place.

For the following year, Walter Stadler from Rosenheim, Walter Köberle from Kaufbeuren (later DEG veteran, long-time assistant trainer and team manager) and Vladimír Vacátko strengthened the team. With this team, DEG became German ice hockey champions for the second time in the club's history.

Xaver Unsinn left DEG and became a trainer at Berliner SC, which had risen again after decades . Nonsense demanded a greater say in personnel matters and new signings - in an area of ​​responsibility that at that time was the sole responsibility of the executive board. As a result, the club management did not extend his contract. A second place was achieved in 1973 under coach Jiri Pokorny. A noticeable upheaval began in the Bundesliga. Other financially strong big city clubs like the Berliner SC, the 1972 promoted Kölner EC and later the Mannheim ERC began to imitate the DEG and enter the ice hockey stage. Traditional Bavarian locations such as Füssen or Bad Tölz, however, had a harder time asserting themselves in the league.

A fourth place in 1974 was followed by the club's third championship in 1975 under the new DEG trainer Chuck Holdaway from Calgary . Sepp Reif and Otto Schneitberger at the zenith of their careers, the successful newcomers Georg Kink from Augsburg , penalty box king (a tough player) Horst-Peter “Wacki” Kretschmer from Bad Tölz and Canadians Russel Wiechnik and George “Corky” Agar thus reached third Title within eight years. Düsseldorf became the spectator stronghold of German ice hockey. As a rule, DEG had more spectators during the season than the five traditional southern clubs EV Landshut, EV Füssen, EC Bad Tölz, ESV Kaufbeuren and SC Riessersee combined.

Despite some good seasons, DEG did not win the championship for fifteen years. Reif ended his career at the age of 37, Schneitberger moved together with the best striker Hejma for a short time to competitor Krefelder EV , only to switch to coaching there a year later. In the following years DEG reached third place in the battle for the championship in 1976, fourth place in 1977 and sixth in 1978. After coach Holdaway, ex-coach Hans Rampf followed briefly, the former player Corky Agar, Rudi Hejtmanek and, after Krefeld's bankruptcy, Otto Schneitberger for one season, but unsuccessfully.

Petr Hejma, who also returned from the insolvent Krefelder EV, became the team's best striker like in previous years. There seemed to be a brief upswing at the end of the 1970s under coach Gerhard Kießling , who had brought his son, the then best German defender Udo Kießling, from Cologne. The results were fourth (1979) and third (1980).

The 1980s - lean times and optimism

In the 1980/81 season, the "play-offs" were introduced. For this season the DEG strengthened itself again considerably. Newcomers were the former Krefeld striker of the century and probably the best goalscorer in recent years, Dick Decloe , the Swedish ex-NHL player Roland Eriksson and the German-Canadian Ralph Krueger , who later became the national coach of Switzerland . With this team , the final was reached in a season that was overshadowed by the passport forger scandal triggered by the Duisburger SC and Cologne EC , the team was defeated by the SC Riessersee. After this season, Dick Decloe and Petr Hejma ended their careers, Köberle went to Cologne. Udo Kießling, who set an unprecedented defender record with 83 scorer points in the preseason, also left the club with his father and coach Gerhard.

The biggest slump in decades followed. Falling audience numbers, insufficient player performance and negative press defined the early 1980s. Eighth place in the table was reached three times with difficulty, so that the team could take part in the play-offs, in which DEG had no chance. The coaches Jaromir Frycer and Heinz Weisenbach failed. From October 1983, when the ex-player Otto Schneitberger took over the coaching position, things started to improve again.

Under the coaches Schneitberger (1983–1987), ex-DEG player Brian Lefley (1987–1988, later national coach for Switzerland and Italy ) and Peter Johansson (1988–1990) and the new DEG chairman, the entrepreneur Josef Klüh, were made extensive player commitments. In the course of a few years, national players such as goalkeeper Helmut de Raaf , defenders Uli Hiemer , Mike Schmidt and Andreas Niederberger , as well as strikers Dieter Hegen , Gerd Truntschka , Roy Roedger and Manfred "Mannix" Wolf were signed.

Peter-John Lee
DEG player from 1983 to 1993 and second best scorer - today manager of Eisbären Berlin (picture from 2006)

However, two more newcomers played a major role in the success of DEG. For the 1983/84 season, two foreign players, the Russian Viktor Nechayev from Los Angeles and the Canadian Peter-John Lee from the NHL club Pittsburgh Penguins , were committed, of which the club had high expectations. Nechayev, however, did not meet the expectations placed on him and left DEG after a year, while Lee immediately became the player with the highest points and fan favorite. Remarkably, in addition to Nechayev, a young Canadian named Doug Gilmour was tested at the time, but was rejected by coach Weisenbach, who favored the Russian. Doug Gilmour would later become one of the NHL's top players in the 1980s and 1990s.

The second newcomer, the Canadian Chris Valentine from the NHL club Washington Capitals in the 1984/85 season, was just as lucky as Lee. Both of them formed one of the league's best storm pairs for almost a decade. Valentine was tired of the constant switching between his NHL club and its farm team in Hershey and therefore wanted to try his luck in Europe. Although he initially viewed the DEG offer as a short-term engagement, he stayed in Düsseldorf for the rest of his career. Valentine broke all player records at DEG, achieved almost 1,000 points and was German champion five times. When he ended his career in 1996 at the age of 35, he had 571 appearances, 365 goals and 598 assists to book. The player numbers of Lee and Valentine were blocked by DEG after their careers ended and have not been assigned since then.

The DEG became a crowd puller again. The games were almost always sold out. The team lost the 1986 final in three games against the Cologne EC .

By Anatoli Tarasov , then coach of the Sbornaja , the national team of the Soviet Union dates back to September 1971 the quote "The best fans in the world" , which was virtually unchallenged synonymous DEG fans. Their creative and often spontaneous chants and chants were famous, the atmosphere beyond the ice hockey borders was admired.

With this strong player base, DEG was again a championship candidate. In the 1988/89 season, DEG caused a league scandal after the team left the ice during one of the play-off finals at SB Rosenheim during the game. The reason was referee Würth from Peiting, who caused DEG to fear for the health of their players through a partial game management. This game was subsequently rated 0: 5 by the DEB against DEG, the championship also went to Rosenheim, which at that time had the best team of the season.

The revenge took place the following year. After losing two finals in 1986 and 1989, DEG was again German champion in the 1989/90 season after 15 years. A 1:10 defeat shortly before the end of the preliminary round against the promoted team of Hedos Munich was coach Peter Johansson fatal. Petr Hejma, Johansson's co-trainer and now full-time engineer at the Düsseldorf public utility company, took over the coaching position and led DEG to the championship. Successful years began for the club.

The 1990s - the serial champion

Ice rink on Brehmstrasse Restaurant Kreutzer - view from the south

Petr Hejma, who had filled the role of head coach after Johansson's dismissal, could not be persuaded to continue taking on this role. His successor was former national player Hans Zach from Bad Tölz, who had previously gained coaching experience in lower-class teams such as Bayreuth and Ratingen .

After a moderate start in the 1990/91 season, DEG stabilized. Only the teams from Cologne EC and SB Rosenheim were able to counter. “Alpenvulkan” Zach and the well-staffed team played successful play-offs, in the final the first round Cologne was defeated in five games.

The team stayed together in terms of personnel, the number of spectators, on the upswing since the late 1980s, was higher than ever. Getting one of the few remaining tickets without a season ticket was almost considered remarkable. With the addition of Benoît Doucet from EV Landshut , the reigning top scorer of the previous season, DEG strengthened itself again. The club remained the best team in the league. In the 1991/92 season only two of 22 home games were lost, not a single one of the nine play-off games up to the title. While the Cologne EC was eliminated in the quarter-finals, there was an opponent on an equal footing with SB Rosenheim. In the final, DEG beat the Sportbund in three games and thus achieved the title hat-trick, which had only previously been achieved by EV Füssen in the 1950s and the Cologne EC in the 1980s. Rosenheim left the league with the runner-up after the withdrawal of its main sponsor. A former hate opponent became a very friendly club to this day. In the final of the Ice Hockey Europe Cup in 1991 , which took place on Brehmstrasse, DEG was defeated by the Swedish champions Djurgårdens IF from Stockholm.

The 1992/93 season was similar. With Hedos Munich, new competition arose for DEG. A top team was formed on the Isar with a lot of money. Above all, many former Rosenheim players were signed. In addition to goalkeeper Karl Friesen from Rosenheim and strikers Dale Derkatch , Gordon Sherven , Tony Vogel , Mondi Hilger and Georg "Schorsch" Franz , DEG top players Didi Hegen and Gerd Truntschka also moved to Munich. It wasn't enough for Hedos to win the title, in the final the DEG beat the Cologne EC in the fifth game in overtime and thus won the fourth championship title in a row.

The first signs of wear and tear gradually became noticeable. The good player base, now mostly over 30 years old, has passed the career zenith. Coach Hans Zach, now three times in a row master coach, acted more self-centered. The board of directors began to spend large sums of money to continue to be successful. In 1994 DEG reached the final for the sixth time in a row, but this time Munich was too strong, the title went to the Isar.

Foundation of the DEL

The German ice hockey league DEL was founded in the 1994/95 season . The reason for this, and for the abolition of the old Bundesliga, was the second division, which was broken by countless bankruptcies (Iserlohn, Essen, Bayreuth and Memmingen went bankrupt). From the clubs of the 1st Bundesliga and the remnants of the 2nd league, a separate league with 18 teams outside of the German Ice Hockey Federation has now been founded in order to be able to market itself better. The first changes were evident with the outsourcing of professional teams to limited liability companies . Almost all of the clubs gave themselves new names for marketing reasons, mostly animal names, only DEG kept the traditional name.

The number of viewers at DEG fell continuously, which was also due to the newly introduced DEL. An oversaturation after long years of success and a generation change in the fan structures did the rest. The first DEL season was also a disappointment for the club in terms of sport, after finishing fifth in the preliminary round, DEG was eliminated in the quarter-finals against Krefeld, which had not happened since 1987. Only the short-term engagement of NHL star Brendan Shanahan from the St. Louis Blues for three games during an NHL lockout gave the season a special note.

First of all, the increasingly headstrong coach Hans Zach, who regularly argued with manager Rolf van Hauten, was dismissed despite a contract that had been extended shortly beforehand and on good terms. He was succeeded by President Klüh's preferred candidate, the former Cologne and Munich master trainer Hardy Nilsson from Sweden. Expensive players like the former Finnish NHL star Mikko Mäkelä were signed, and a video cube was bought for the ice rink, which cost more than a million marks.

Inlet on Brehmstrasse 2004
Ice stadium on Brehmstrasse in August 2005 (preparatory game against Frankfurt)

Initially, the project was crowned with success. Due to Patrick Lebeau and Peter Andersson , who were also signed up during the current season , DEG became German champions again in 1995/96. In a wrong assessment of the situation, the Bosman ruling and the resulting consequences were ignored the following year . While almost all other teams signed cheap, young but well-trained players from all over the world due to the abolition of the foreigner restriction, DEG extended the contracts with almost all previous, predominantly local players. Most of them, however, had already passed the zenith of their careers, but received the highest salaries in the league. Only top player and fan favorite Patrick Lebeau was not held.

A ninth place in 1996/97 meant for the first time in the now thirty-year Bundesliga history of the club participation in the so-called play-downs, a round against relegation, and that despite national players such as Dieter Hegen, Thomas Brandl and Benoît Doucet in the squad. Coach Nilsson has been sacked. Ex-trainer Zach (still on DEG's payroll and on loan as a trainer to the Kassel Huskies ) was brought back. Apart from a successful play-down round without defeat against the Ratinger Löwen, he could not do anything.

There was a necessary upheaval in the club. The long-standing, extremely successful former DEG player and crowd favorite Chris Valentine, after his career the youth coach, was appointed coach. A large part of the player contracts were not renewed. Ten new players from overseas and Italy were signed. Refreshing ice hockey was played again with players such as Chris Rogles , Todd Harkins , Jason Miller , Shane Peacock , David Marchinyshin , Larry Rucchin , Leo Insam and the Russian Viktor Gordijuk , who has been playing for DEG since the previous year . Established forces such as the players Hegen, Brandl and Doucet, who were heavily criticized in the previous season and still have expensive top contracts, experienced their second spring. Although DEG had nothing to do with the outcome of the championship and was eliminated in the quarter-finals against the eventual title holder Mannheim, the team impressed with its team spirit and fighting spirit, so that this season is still referred to by fans as the "Valentine season" .

Withdrawal from the DEL - short stay in the second division (1998-2000)

Training on Brehmstrasse - September 2007
View from the southeast

After a good sporting season, however, the mistakes of the past made themselves economically noticeable. At least 20 million marks in debts slowly robbed the association of its freedom of action and design. Although part of the debt was secured by guarantors, they were at odds with one another. In addition, irregularities in payments to the tax office and the VRR transport association (which receives a share for each ticket sold, in return the ticket counts as a ticket) became known, which demanded outstanding taxes and payments.

The board of directors around President Klüh resigned. The club was threatened with bankruptcy, another season in the DEL could not be financed. There were plenty of reasons for the decline. The audience numbers dropped considerably. The bad image of the league, disagreements at the top of the club and an ice stadium that is no longer up to standard did the rest. The new first chairman was the entrepreneur Ben Zamek ( Zamek food) from the following season .

At that time, the German Ice Hockey Federation , which had no more influence on the DEL due to the independent league structure, wanted to install a large single-track league away from the DEL as the new "Bundesliga" from the two-track 2nd division, which had been decimated by countless bankruptcies . Previously established second division players such as the Moskitos Essen , the Iserlohner EC , the EHC Freiburg , the EC Bad Nauheim , the EC Bad Tölz and the SC Riessersee became part of this Bundesliga together with small clubs such as Braunlage, Nordhorn and Grefrath. DEG submitted an application for admission, which was immediately approved. The club kept the license for the DEL.

The Bundesliga experiment was well received. “Back to the Roots” could be heard many times, friendly clubs like SC Riessersee promised at least a temporary replacement for the failed derbies against Cologne. Czesław Panek , briefly a DEG player in the early 1980s and then mainly coached the youth teams at Preussen Berlin , was hired as the new coach for Chris Valentine, who was moving to Landshut. With the exception of Wiktor Gordijuk and Leo Stefan , all the players left the club, so that a completely new DEG started for the 1998/99 season. This recruited from many young German players, some of whom came from their own offspring, and established second division players. Overall, the season was sporty, DEG kept up in the league and was consistently in the top third of the table. An average attendance of 5,500 was achieved, far fewer than in the DEL, but the top figure for the Bundesliga. Third place after the preliminary round behind the teams from Essen and Bad Nauheim and an elimination in the semifinals against Nauheim were the result of this season.

The team was strengthened for the following year. Anders Gozzi moved from Sweden to the team that became a goal scorer. The former DEG players Sergei Sorokin , Leo Insam and Andreas Brockmann returned. Through discussions between the DEB and the DEL, an agreement was reached that the league should now be called "Second League" and should act as the foundation of the DEL. DEG got off to a moderate start, but improved over the course of the season. A series of defeats was the undoing of Panek, who was replaced by the Rosenheim DEL trainer Gerhard Brunner . He was previously the coach of the DEG Juniors and runner-up with the DEL team of the Kassel Huskies . In the play-off series, DEG defeated EC Bietigheim-Bissingen in the quarter-finals, EC Bad Nauheim in the semi-finals and ERC Ingolstadt in the final. The DEG thus became champions of the 2nd division and rose to the DEL.

A look at the finances showed that the DEL could be financed, but the club was still heavily in debt. In the second division, a gradual decline would have occurred due to the dwindling number of spectators and lower sponsorship income, making a later rise increasingly difficult. Thus, after a two-year break, DEG was able to climb back into the top German league.

The New Era (since 2000)

Return to the DEL

Andrei Trefilov
Player of the Year 2001

DEG strengthened itself with a few experienced DEL players, but started the season with a large number of second division players. An exception was the transfer of the former Russian national goalkeeper and gold and silver medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville and 1998 in Nagano , Andrej Trefilow, from the reigning IHL champion and Turner Cup winner Chicago Wolves . It was thanks to Trefilow in particular, with his outstanding performance, that the team, which had little offensive power, finished the first DEL season after being promoted again in eleventh place and did not fall into the relegation vortex. Trefilow himself was voted Player of the Year 2001 for his performance . The next season was similar, but the dissatisfaction with the personnel policy and the game system of coach Brunner grew. At around 5,500 to 6,000, the number of viewers was lower than in the time before the two-year DEL abstinence. A series of defeats led to the dismissal of Gerhard Brunner, his successor was Michael Komma , a former player and coach of the Preussen Berlin , who had been hired as manager shortly before . Michael Komma was originally supposed to take care of the player acquisition, but now took on the role of coach and manager at the same time. At the beginning with success, after ninth place and the non-participation in the play-offs, a good result was achieved in the 2002/03 season for the first time since promotion to third place. Then DEG was eliminated in the quarterfinals against the eventual champions Krefeld Pinguine. Two newcomers in particular stood out in terms of sport. The Norwegians Trond Magnussen and Tore Vikingstad immediately became top performers and fans' favorites.

DEG Metro Stars

Logo of the DEG Metro Stars

This year there was one of the most serious changes in the club's history. Still suffering from a high debt burden, the club was on the verge of bankruptcy several times. The budget had to be calculated tightly, the debt burden was high. The Düsseldorf retail group Metro was won on March 1, 2001 as name and main sponsor. Initially fixed for five years, large sums were made available to put the club back on a solid footing. Debts were not taken over, but DEG had planning security again and capable controlling of the association's finances. Since then, DEG has operated under the name DEG Metro Stars .

Despite third place after the preliminary round, the fans were dissatisfied. The commas game system was as unattractive as Brunner's, the number of spectators stagnated, and the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals against the Krefeld Pinguine. Tensions developed between the team and the coach. There was also a high number of players signed by him who were sent away with an expensive termination contract shortly afterwards because they could not meet the expectations placed in them, such as the Swede Robert Burakovsky or the later national player Michael Hackert .

Tribute to Daniel Kreutzer on the occasion of his 500th DEL game
Tore Vikingstad
Player of the Year 2006

The 2003/04 season ended in eighth place, followed by another quick end in the quarter-finals against the Eisbären Berlin . Despite all the dissonances, the DEG management stuck to the comma. After a bad start, bad sporting performance and the team slipping to the bottom of the table in the 2004/05 season, Komma was dismissed after long hesitation. Relegation fear arose in a team that should meet higher league claims. After a series of rejections and a rather helpless search for a coach, Butch Goring became the new DEG coach. Goring was the master trainer of the Krefeld Penguins , but could not build on the success in the following year and was released there. The experienced coach, as a player with the New York Islanders an NHL great, tried to get more out of the squad. The season finally ended in tenth place.

There was a change. Only a moderate number of viewers and bad press shaped the picture, sponsor Metro was dissatisfied. The engagement of the new DEG manager Lance Nethery , the former master trainer of the Adler Mannheim , and master manager of the Kölner Haie and the Frankfurt Lions raised high hopes. Goring, who insisted on a long-term contract, was no longer employed. Instead, Nethery persuaded Don Jackson , like his predecessor Goring, also a formerly successful NHL player, to become a coach at DEG. Jackson, who had AHL experience as head coach , assisted his friend Pierre Pagé as assistant coach last year due to the lockout of the NHL at the Eisbären Berlin . Nethery's visions of the future and the positive reports about DEG from Berlin's manager and former DEG player legend Peter-John Lee convinced Jackson. Many new players were signed as part of the team was sorted out. With the smallest team in the league, but equipped with team spirit and fighting spirit, they played at the limit for a long time. After the preliminary round, they took third place and then made it to the play-off final.

The players to be highlighted were Daniel Kreutzer , who was born in Düsseldorf , national player and fan favorite, Klaus Kathan , who blossomed again as a goalscorer after bad years in Mannheim, and Tore Vikingstad , national player of Norway, the top scorer of the league and player of the year 2006 . The so-called "KVK series" caused a stir in the league. In the play-off series, the Hamburg Freezers and the Kölner Haie were defeated. Finalist Eisbären Berlin, however, turned out to be too strong; the final and the championship went to the federal capital in three games. But this didn’t detract from the joy of one of the best sporting seasons in years, especially since DEG became the German Cup winner in 2006 and thus finally won a title. In the following season 2006/07 the club hoped to be able to build on these successes, especially since with the former NHL player Jamie Storr for Andrej Trefilow, who ended his career, again a top man for the goalkeeping position was committed.

Relocation to the ISS Dome

ISS Dome
Arrival of the ice machine at the fan march on September 3, 2006
The new ISS-Dome venue on the day it opened on September 2, 2006
Interior ISS Dome on the opening day September 2, 2006

With the move to the ISS Dome , the club not only hoped for increased audience response. The previous venue, the traditional but over 70-year-old ice rink on Brehmstrasse , no longer met the requirements of a top German club. The season was successful in terms of sport, with the DEG Metro Stars finishing the preliminary round in second place and reaching the semi-finals in the play-off series. However, the ISS dome was not as well received as one had hoped.

For the 2007/08 season, the prognoses continued to be good. On the one hand, it became known that DEG has meanwhile reduced all past debts and is considered to have been reorganized. On the other hand, the naming rights holder Metro and manager Lance Nethery extended their contracts ahead of time until 2012. The successor to Don Jackson , who was migrating to the Eisbären Berlin , was the former Czech national coach Slavomír Lener . Christian Brittig's successor as assistant coach was Mike Schmidt, former DEG defender for many years . The top row of the preseason: Kreutzer, Vikingstad, Kathan were still under contract. The team, restructured by Lance Nethery, seemed to meet higher league demands with the newcomers from overseas, including ex-NHL player Jamie Wright , as well as DEL returnees Peter Ratchuk , Andrew Hedlund and Brandon Reid . In the specialist media there was often talk of the DEG Metro Stars being the only serious competitor to defending champion Adler Mannheim .

The 2007/08 season was disappointing, however, coach Slavomír Lener was on leave early in the season after inconsistent performance of the team, whereupon manager Lance Nethery took over this task. Poor team performance and a misery of injuries caused the DEG Metro Stars to slip down to twelfth place in the table, which also resulted in poorer attendance figures. The preliminary round ended with ninth place, which enabled participation in the pre-play-offs. With a 2-1 win after games against the Hannover Scorpions , including in the decisive game in the second extension after 92 minutes, the quarter-finals were reached. The series against the Sinupret Ice Tigers from Nuremberg was a novelty. With 4-1 victories, the DEG Metro Stars became the first team in the DEL play-off history to defeat the table leaders in the preliminary round in the quarter-finals. DEG also had chances in the semi-finals against Eisbären Berlin, but ultimately lost in five games. DEG remained the only team to win all home games in the play-offs.

The new coach of the following 2008/09 season was the former national player Harold Kreis , who was the Swiss champion as coach with the ZSC Lions the previous season. The squad also changed. The top scorers Vikingstad and Kathan left the club for Hanover, as new players Adam Courchaine and Shane Joseph were signed by the league rivals Duisburg and Augsburg. The main round of this season ended with a third place, and DEG finally made it to the final against the Eisbären Berlin. After four games in the best-of-five series, the Düsseldorf team had to admit defeat to the defending champion and became runner-up.

The following season was inconsistent. A bad start to the season was followed by a good middle phase of the season, in which DEG held second place behind the top favorite from Berlin for a long time. In the final phase of the preliminary round, the club slipped in the table to sixth and was eliminated in three games in the play-off quarter-finals against Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg . The audience participation also decreased considerably. After this rather unsatisfactory season, the focus in the 2010/11 season should be placed on a rejuvenated, competitive team. Various disappointing top performers such as Brandon Reid , Craig MacDonald and Patrick Traverse left DEG. The new coach was Jeff Tomlinson , who was previously the co-coach of the Eisbären Berlin and temporarily head coach of the Eisbären Juniors and has now taken on his first position as head coach in the highest German league. A series of defeats at the beginning of the season almost became his undoing, but with a 4-2 home win against the reigning champions from Hanover, a race to catch up was started, which led DEG from penultimate place - equal on points - to second place until the end of the year. one point behind leader Wolfsburg. This constellation continued after the main round. In the play-off quarter-finals, the Adler Mannheim were defeated in four games after a 2: 7 opening defeat. The semi-final series went over the full distance of five games, in which DEG was eliminated again against the eventual champions from Berlin.

On May 19, 2011 Metro AG announced that it would not extend its sponsorship contract after the end of the 2011/12 season. This also ended the name sponsoring, which made it possible to return to the name Düsseldorfer EG . The season was again inconsistent. Coach Tomlinson then replaced the hapless goalkeeper Jean-Sébastien Aubin with his substitute Bobby Goepfert , DEG only surrendered one point in the next seven games and climbed to third place. At the end of the year, however, the team slipped to ninth place, but was able to establish itself in the midfield. With seventh place, the team did not reach the direct play-off qualification, but had to compete in the so-called first play-off round against the tenth-placed Iserlohn Roosters , who were defeated in two games. In the quarter-finals, DEG was on par with the runner-up from Ingolstadt, but lost the series in five games.

Existential fear and a complete new beginning

With the departure of the main and name sponsor Metro and the smaller sponsors and patrons that had hardly been acquired in the previous ten years, DEG, which has been using its traditional name Düsseldorfer EG since 2012, found itself in a very difficult financial situation. For a long time it was not clear whether a budget for a DEL team could even be achieved. Leaving the DEL and entering a lower league, such as the Regionalliga NRW, at the same time as moving to the hall on Brehmstrasse, which has been renovated in recent years through several renovation measures, was openly discussed. A big campaign has started. The former managing director Elmar Schmellenkamp was reinstated, the management took over the DEG legend Walter Köberle , who has been with DEG for many decades , as a successor to the retired Lance Nethery , initially as a player, later in various organizational activities. Rescue and confessional packages were advertised, which could be purchased for 10,000.00 and 20,000.00 euros. A Düsseldorf entrepreneur donated a large sum, the city of Düsseldorf and sub-organizations of the city, such as the Stadtsparkasse and Stadtwerke participated after a coherent concept for the future was presented. The greatest sensation, however, caused the collaboration with the Düsseldorf punk rock band Die Toten Hosen , who also purchased a rescue package and provided their band logo for a new jersey series. This shirt was a huge success and sold tremendously. DEG, which previously had little media presence, became a topic of conversation again in Düsseldorf, many companies were approached about sponsorship, some rescue and confessional packages were discontinued and new sponsors were found, albeit mostly within a relatively small framework. The theme was even used as a carnival float in a Rose Monday parade. Many fans also took part, including a. at a donation organization. Due to the tremendous efforts, a budget for the coming DEL season could be achieved, which, however, is to be located in the lower league area. Because of this, almost all players left the club to join other teams. For example, crowd favorite Patrick Reimer and top players Evan Kaufmann , Connor James , Marco Nowak and coach Jeff Tomlinson moved to Nuremberg. Ultimately, with goalkeeper Bobby Goepfert, DEG veteran Daniel Kreutzer, Marian Bazany and Diego Hofland only four players remained with the club. In the team composition, attention was paid to willingness to fight, will and identification with the club and mainly young and cheap players, etc. a. from North America, Sweden and Norway. Young perspective players will be used, and the two experienced DEG players from Düsseldorf, Niki Mondt and Tino Boos, will also return. The new coach will be the former DEG player and assistant coach in Don Jackson's time, Christian Brittig , who has already had head coaching experience in the second division at Bietigheim. Long-time youth coach Christof Kreutzer will be his assistant coach . Furthermore, the cheerleading group DEG Silver Stars , which was founded in Metro times, was abolished. Ultimately, the 2012/13 season was one of the biggest cuts in the club's history, at least since entering the Metro eleven years earlier.

At an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on November 5, 2013, Elmar Schmellenkamp resigned from his position as managing director, his successor was Jörn Klocke in marketing and Paul Specht in finance. In addition, the companies Zamek and VVA sold their shares to Peter Hoberg and the new partner Michail Ponomarew , owner of the Russian consulting firm Energy Consulting. Furthermore, the new board of the parent club decided to transfer its majority of the professionals to the two partners Hoberg and Ponomarew and to only retain a say in the field of sport with 26%. From then on, Hoberg and Ponomarew each held 30.8% of the shares and Brau and Brunnen 12.4%.

In April 2014, Jochen Rotthaus, who was managing director of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim from 2006 to 2013 , was appointed sole managing director. After one season, Rotthaus left DEG and went to Bayer 04 Leverkusen , his successor being Paul Specht. In the course of a renewed realignment, Paul Specht was replaced after just one season by Stefan Adam , who took up his position at DEG on July 18, 2016.

In 2016, Peter Völkel took over the shares in Brau und Brunnen and Michail Ponomarew sold his shares to Stephan Hoberg.

After the 2016/17 season, head coach Christof Kreutzer was relieved of his office. After reaching the DEL semi-finals in the 2014/15 season and the 2015/16 quarter-finals, the final round was missed in 2016/17. Mike Pellegrims , who had previously become Austrian runner-up with the EC KAC , was signed as his successor . Niki Mondt was appointed as the sports director . Pellegrims was removed from office at the end of January 2018 after having lost seven games in nine games. His successor until the end of the 2017/18 season was the previous assistant coach Tobias Abstreiter .

In mid-April 2018, Harold Kreis' return to the post of head coach was announced. The German-Canadian previously worked for the Swiss association EV Zug for four years , while Abstreiter returned to the position of assistant coach.

Placements by DEG

In the sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics you can find the rankings of the DEG since its foundation, divided into the following categories:


Squad of the 2020/21 season

As of June 1, 2020

No. Nat. player Item Date of birth in the team since place of birth
32 GermanyGermany Hendrik Hane G September 18, 2000 2017 Dusseldorf , Germany
GermanyGermany Mirko Pantkowski G May 26, 1998 2020 Kassel , Germany
27 GermanyGermany Alexander Dersch D. March 30, 2000 2019 Landshut , Germany
67 GermanyGermany Bernhard Ebner D. September 12, 1990 2012 Schongau , Germany
61 GermanyGermany Nicolas Geitner D. December 11, 1998 2019 Dusseldorf , Germany
25th GermanyGermany Johannes Huss D. 0August 9, 1998 2017 Bad Toelz , Germany
48 DenmarkDenmark Nicholas B. Jensen D. 0April 8, 1989 2019 Copenhagen , Denmark
4th NorwayNorway Johannes Johannesen D. 0March 1, 1997 2019 Stavanger , Norway
8th GermanyGermany Marco Nowak D. July 23, 1990 2012 Dresden , GDR
55 SwedenSweden Alexander Urbom D. December 20, 1990 2019 Stockholm , Sweden
51 CanadaCanada Marc Zanetti D. May 20, 1991 2019 Richmond Hill , Ontario , Canada
19th CanadaCanada Luke Adam C. June 18, 1990 2019 St. John's , Newfoundland , Canada
29 GermanyGermany Alexander Barta C. 0February 2, 1983 2016 Berlin , Germany
14th LatviaLatvia Rihards Bukarts W. December 31, 1995 2019 Jūrmala , Latvia
21st GermanyGermany HungaryHungary Patrick Buzás C. May 17, 1987 2018 Augsburg , Germany
20th GermanyGermany Tobias Eder C. 0March 4, 1998 2019 Tegernsee , Germany
GermanyGermany Alexander Ehl W. November 28, 1999 2019 Landshut , Germany
90 GermanyGermany Jerome Flaake RW 0March 2, 1990 2018 Guben , Germany
16 CanadaCanada Reid Gardiner RW January 19, 1996 2019 Prince Albert , Saskatchewan , Canada
15th GermanyGermany Charlie Jahnke F. February 14, 1998 2019 Berlin , Germany
9 GermanyGermany Maximilian Kammerer C. September 28, 1996 2019 Dusseldorf , Germany
22nd Flag of Canada and Germany.svg Chad Nehring C. June 14, 1987 2019 Springside , Saskatchewan , Canada
40 NorwayNorway Ken André Olimb C. January 21, 1989 2018 Oslo , Norway
39 SwedenSweden Victor Svensson C. December 16, 1989 2019 Karlskrona , Sweden

Coaching staff

function Nat. Surname Date of birth In the team since place of birth
Trainer German-Canadian Harold Circle January 19, 1959 2018 Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada
Assistant coach GermanyGermany Thomas Dolak March 25, 1979 2019 Gottwaldov , Czechoslovakia

Significant past teams

The squad lists of these successful teams can be found in the sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics .


Blocked jersey numbers

The eight championship banners as well as Lee and Valentine's player banners in the ISS Dome

In the course of more than 75 years ice hockey, a large number of popular ice hockey players have played at DEG. DEG has blocked the player numbers of four former players. The Canadian Chris Valentine moved from Washington Capitals to DEG in 1984 and stayed there until the end of his career in 1996. During this time, he became a fixture of the club and is to this day to be found at the top of all DEG record lists, for example he scored the most goals, the most assists and almost 1,000 points scorer. He did not reach the highest number of games for the club due to an injury in his last active season (this record is held by his long-time team-mate Andreas Niederberger ). In addition, Valentine was DEG coach in the 1997/98 season.

His long-term strike partner was Peter-John Lee from the Pittsburgh Penguins , who joined DEG a year earlier and formed a top row with Valentine for almost ten years. Both personalities were not only among the best players in the league for a whole decade, their behavior away from the ice also made them fanidols. Banners with their numbers 10 (Valentine) and 12 (Lee) were raised together with the eight championship banners in the ice rink on Brehmstrasse. In the meantime, on the occasion of the move to the ISS Dome, larger banners have been produced and are now hanging in the ISS Dome above the grandstands for guest fans.

On January 13, 2013 Walter Köberle was honored for his performance as a player and official. He also put a banner on the ceiling of the hall, his jersey number 13 is no longer awarded either. In 1971 he came to Düsseldorf for the first time and stayed for 10 years. After a year on the other side of the Rhine at the KEC, he played his last season and ended his career in the jersey of the Düsseldorf team. From then on he was employed in the youth department. A possible coaching position with the Eisbären Berlin failed for health reasons. In 2000 he became assistant coach for a DEL team for the first time. He later became team leader and sport director in 2012.

On 2 February 2018, the jersey number was 23 by Daniel Kreutzer hung under the ceiling of the ISS Dome and no longer awarded in Dusseldorf since.

Goalkeeper Robert Müller's shirt number 80 was blocked in the entire DEL after his death.

Club-internal records

The sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics contains detailed information on the following categories:

Well-known former players

Some former DEG players are indispensable in the memories of the fans because they have been part of the DEG, the league and the national team for many years. Their athletic performance, but also their appearance outside the ice rink, were exemplary. People like Chris Valentine, Peter-John Lee, Petr Hejma , Otto Schneitberger and Helmut de Raaf are still well known today and are members of the so-called “golden times” of the association. Other very successful and well-known DEG players were Dieter Hegen , Benoît Doucet , Gerd Truntschka , Uli Hiemer , Rick Amann , Andreas Niederberger and Mike Schmidt .

For more details, see sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics

Individual awards

See sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics

Participation of players in the All-Star-Game

See sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics


In the long history of DEG, many well-known personalities from different nations have coached the club. Often former players of the club later became DEG coaches, such as B. Rainer Hillmann , Frank Trottier , Otto Schneitberger , Brian Lefley , Petr Hejma senior , Chris Valentine , Christian Brittig or from the 2014/15 to 2017 season Christof Kreutzer . For some coaches, the Düsseldorfer EG was the first successful station with championship titles and a springboard for a great career (also in the national team) such as Xaver Unsinn or Hans Zach .

A list of all previous trainers can be found in the sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics


Up until the 1980s, DEG did not have a full-time manager; the player acquisition was the responsibility of the coach and the board of directors. A comparable activity was taken over in the 1980s and 1990s by the sports chairman and long-time youth coach Rolf "Rolli" van Hauten. After the promotion to the DEL, the employment relationship ended due to differences of opinion. Under coach Gerhard Brunner , Michael Komma , previously a coach and manager at Preussen Berlin , was signed to work as a manager. When Brunner was on leave, Komma also took on the role of coach and carried out both functions for three years until he was released. From April 2005 to January 2012 , Lance Nethery , who previously worked successfully for Adler Mannheim , Kölner Haie and Frankfurt Lions , was the manager of DEG Metro Stars. As part of the upheaval after the 2011/2012 season, Walter Köberle took over the position of manager.

Parent club

DEG Youngsters

The Düsseldorfer EG had an excellent youth work for many years, which produced players like Helmut de Raaf and Daniel Kreutzer , among others . The second ice rink on Brehmstrasse, which was closed in 1995, made it more difficult to organize training times, so that targeted youth work was hardly possible. In 2005, instead of the old, uncovered ice rink, a new, modern training hall was built right next to the ice rink. In addition, the DEG training program has been significantly intensified and expanded.

Today around 300 children and young people play in the Bambini, small school, boys and school areas. Running schools and Pucki training are offered and youth tournaments are organized. In all age groups, DEG takes part in matches in the corresponding top league. Some of the full-time trainers were successful professionals themselves, such as Georg Holzmann and Thomas Dolak. With Udo Schmid, DEG Eishockey eV hired a former Düsseldorf master player as the sporting director in 2014.

German Junior League (DNL)

In 2006 the DEG youth team rose to the highest German youth league, the German Youth League (DNL). In the first season, the team qualified as the first team to be promoted in the history of the DNL with eighth place for the play-offs, where they lost to the eventual champions Jungadler Mannheim . The trainer of the DNL team at that time was the long-time former DEG player Andreas Niederberger . In the DNL season 2007/08 the team took third place after the preliminary round and was eliminated in the play-off quarter-finals against the Cologne young sharks . The home game in this play-off series was watched by over 1000 spectators in the ice rink on Brehmstrasse . The 2008/09 season also ended in the quarter-finals of the play-offs. The 2009/10 season turned out to be more successful in terms of sport. After victories against the Krefeld EV in the quarter-finals and the Eisbären Berlin in the semifinals, the final of the German Junior League was reached for the first time, which was lost to the young eagles Mannheim. The team was trained for a number of years by the former, long-time DEG defender Christof Kreutzer , who will be the assistant coach of the DEL team from the 2012/13 season. As his successor, Georg Holzmann will take over the training of the DNL team.

Junior championships


In the 2006/07 season, a 1b team of the club, the DEG II, started for the first time. The starting season in the fifth-rate association league NRW was successful, the team, under the direction of Peter Schrills, rose unbeaten to the Regionalliga NRW. The medium-term plan was to move up to the upper league in order to form a substructure for the first team, following the example of the Eisbären Berlin Juniors. In the 2007/08 season, the former DEG player Thomas Werner became the team's coach. The DEG II reached the final round as planned, but the promoted team was the Herner EV .

A successful regional league team was built under the direction of Christof Kreutzer, who also took on this role as coach of the DNL team in the 1b team. The club refrained from the original plans for promotion to the top league for cost reasons, but rather the plan was to enable players who had become too old for the DNL to make the leap into professional hockey through tactical training and a lot of ice age. After a mixed 2007/08 season, the 2008/09 season was completed more successfully by reaching the championship round. In the semifinals, the first ESV Hügelsheim championship round was defeated before the team lost in the final against Elche Dortmund .

Due to a change in the age limit for the DNL for the 2010/11 season, DEG II's game operations were discontinued at the end of the 2009/10 season, as there was no longer any sporting perspective for this department with regard to professional sport. The focus is now on the DNL team.

Women's team

With the 2015/16 season, DEG reported women's teams in a league for the first time. This was successfully promoted (26: 0 points) to the 2nd Bundesliga. The following year he was promoted to the first Bundesliga . The first season was finished in fifth place. In the 2018/19 season the team finished seventh and secured relegation in the play-downs.


Ice rink on Brehmstrasse

Ice stadium on Brehmstrasse,
DEG venue 1935–2006

From 1935 to the end of the 2005/06 season, the ice rink on Brehmstrasse in Düsseldorf-Düsseltal was the sporting home of DEG , which was still unthinkable in the first few years . Great successes and eight championship titles were celebrated there. In addition, Brehmstrasse was the venue for games of the ice hockey world championships in 1955, 1975 and 1983. The audience capacity in the pre-war years was 8,000 before the stadium was badly damaged by bombs in World War II. After the rebuilding, the capacity was increased to 10,500. As a result of renovations in the 1980s and early 1990s, the capacity increased to 11,117. By the end of the decade, it dropped to 10,285 as a standing room was converted into seating. For a long time, Brehmstrasse was Germany's largest ice rink and was roofed over in 1969. For many decades it was considered a stronghold for spectators. 9,500 season tickets sold were not uncommon. A second, uncovered ice surface next to the main building had to be shut down in 1995 after forty years of use due to considerable damage, which had a negative effect on Düsseldorf's youth work. After years of discussion, a new and now covered training hall was opened at this point in 2004. The two ice rinks that have existed since then and the considerably increased training times mean that there are now enough training opportunities for all DEG teams.

ISS dome

ISS dome interior view

Since the ice rink on Brehmstrasse, which was now seventy years old in 2005, no longer met the requirements in terms of comfort, catering, sanitary facilities and cabins, a new VIP audience segment was not addressed and there were hardly any parking spaces due to the inner city location, the opening of the ISS Dome in the Düsseldorf-Rath district opened a new chapter in DEG history. Initial difficulties, such as poor ice quality, poor visibility from various seating areas, a very unadorned and unfinished circulation, which, like the introduction of a card payment system by the caterer, was rejected by DEG fans, were improved or even eliminated over the course of time. For more than 10 years, the ISS Dome could not be reached directly by local public transport, as the construction of a planned tram connection was repeatedly postponed. However, the connection was completed in early 2018 and the ISS Dome can be reached via the final stop of the 701. However, the rather poor parking situation in the area around the cathedral continues to be criticized by the fans. On the other hand, the fan bistro in the ISS Dome, which is often used as a meeting point by fans during the third breaks or before and after the game, was well received. A fan shop is also integrated in the stadium. Declining audience numbers in recent years and a decline in acceptance of the former DEG Metro Stars and ice hockey in general in the greater Düsseldorf area are due to a large number of other reasons, including the unadorned and poorly accessible multifunctional hall far in the north of Düsseldorf, which many DEG supporters have never fully accepted returned.

The ISS Dome is only the venue for the DEL team of the Düsseldorfer EG. All DEG teams continue to train in the ice rink on Brehmstrasse, and the location will remain the venue for the DNL junior team.

For figures see sub-article Düsseldorfer EG / Statistics .

Club culture

Fans and rivalries

From the 1970s to the mid-1990s, DEG fans were among the most atmospheric ice hockey fan communities. For many seasons, almost every game was sold out, with almost 90% of viewers having season tickets. Back then, queues up to 200 meters long formed at the advance booking offices. Numerous DEG fans went to Cologne to buy tickets for their own home game against their arch rivals at the advance booking offices there; Away games on Cologne's Lentstrasse were quickly converted into home games. The competition was impressed by the atmosphere in the local ice temple on Brehmstrasse , which was characterized by creative and spontaneous fan chants; Chants and chants were copied many times. The award of “best fans in the world” by the Soviet national coach Tarassov was not seriously contradicted at the time and has become a synonym for DEG fans. However, this mood gradually faded from the second half of the 1990s. A generation change in the audience, the unpopular new DEL league, a lack of sporting success, but also an over-saturation that cannot be overlooked after the many successful years are the reasons.

There is a special rivalry with the fans of the Kölner Haie and the Krefeld Penguins ; this is due to the geographical proximity of the clubs - and in the case of Cologne to the rivalry between the two cities in general, which must never be taken so seriously. While the derbies against Cologne are seldom problematic, the games against Krefeld show an increased police presence. There was also a friendship between fans of the Iserlohn Roosters in the 1980s during the ECD Iserlohn and ECD Sauerland times. However, this broke during the joint second division times due to an emotionally driven play-off series and a generation change in fans on both sides.

A friendship with the fans of the SC Riessersee has existed for a long time and since the early 1990s with those of the Starbulls Rosenheim , which is maintained with occasional visits to games. There was also a fan friendship with Preussen Berlin before this club went bankrupt and has since been dissolved. There are also good relationships with the fans of the Adler Mannheim and the Augsburger Panther .


Since 14 November 2000, "Düssi" the mascot of DEG. Düssi, whose name was voted on the Internet, is a "Bergischer" lion (the heraldic animal of Düsseldorf and the Bergisches Land) and runs through the stadium during the game. During the breaks, at the beginning and at the end of the game, he skates over the ice.


  • Düsseldorfer Eislaufgemeinschaft (Ed.): DEG Superstar: 40 Years of Düsseldorfer Eislaufgemeinschaft eV / in Zsarb. with DEG eV Text: Karl-Heinz Wanders, Dr. Günther Sabetzki , Karl-Theo Kels. Dasbach Verlag, Taunusstein 1976
  • Wolfgang Niersbach : DEG: Ice hockey fascination in Düsseldorf / Text: Wolfgang Niersbach; Karl-Heinz Wanders. Dasbach Verlag, Taunusstein 1981
  • Wolfgang Niersbach, Ulf May: 50 years of DEG . n.v. 1985
  • Ralph Durry, Karl-Heinz Wanders: Master DEG - Hattrick for the Düsseldorf puck stars . Zebulon Verlag, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-928679-00-7 .
  • Ulf May, Frieder Feldmann, Stefan Sporken: Our Brehmstraße - history and stories about the ice rink . Own edition by DEG o. V., Düsseldorf 2006

Individual evidence

  1. "Because we are crazy" rp-online.de, September 10, 2016
  2. Ice Hockey News Special Edition 2018/19, pages 12–13
  3. Ice Hockey News Playoffs 2019, pages 6–7
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t DEG Superstar: 40 years of the Düsseldorfer Eislaufgemeinschaft eV / in Zsarb. with DEG eV Text: Karl-Heinz Wanders, Dr. Günther Sabetzki, Karl-Theo Kels. Dasbach Verlag, Taunusstein 1976
  5. a b c d e f g h Stephan Müller: German Ice Hockey Championships 1912–2000, Libri Books on Demand 2000
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Ulf May, Frieder Feldmann, Stefan Sporken: Our Brehmstrasse - history and stories about the ice rink, Düsseldorf 2006
  7. Ice Hockey Hall of Fame Germany
  8. ^ Die Zeit , "Lumpen - Eisen - Preußen" - Strange fans of the new ice hockey champion , February 17, 1967, accessed on May 27, 2013
  9. ^ Duesseldorf.de , City Archives Düsseldorf: Chronicle 1967
  10. a b c Ralph Durry, Karl-Heinz Wanders: Master DEG - Hattrick for the Düsseldorf puck stars. Zebulon Verlag, Düsseldorf 1992
  11. presseportal.de, DEG goalie Andrej Trefilov voted "Ice Hockey Player of the Year" - joint survey by Premiere World and the specialist newspaper Eishockey News , March 14, 2001, accessed on May 26, 2013
  12. schwäbische.de March 13, 2006: "Vikingstad and McLlwain Topscorer in the DEL" (accessed online May 26, 2013)
  13. Westdeutsche Zeitung August 16, 2007
  14. The West May 20, 2011
  15. ^ Silver stars burn up: No more cheerleaders at DEG wz.de, August 24, 2010
  16. Düsseldorfer EG has a dual leadership with a Russian nuance derwesten.de, November 5, 2013
  17. Transfer of shares to Michail Ponomarew and Peter Hoberg notarized ( Memento from November 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) deg-eishockey.de, June 23, 2014
  18. rp-online.de: Adam's goal: DEG permanent guest in the play-offs
  19. deg-eishockey.de: Stefan Adam takes office as managing director of DEG Eishockey GmbH ( Memento from July 22, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  20. ^ Shareholder brings DEG in need wz.de, April 21, 2016
  21. DEG positions itself for the future ( Memento from May 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) deg-eishockey.de, May 13, 2016
  22. Düsseldorfer EG - News. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 25, 2017 ; Retrieved March 25, 2017 .
  23. Tobias Kemberg: DEG: Pellegrim's new trainer, Mondt's new sporting director. In: wz.de. April 12, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017 .
  24. https://www1.wdr.de/sport/eishockey/pellegrims-entlassung-100.html
  25. https://www.deg-eishockey.de/2018/04/deg-verpfliziert-harold-kreis-europaeischer-top-trainer-kom-zurueck/
  26. http://www.rp-online.de/region-duesseldorf/duesseldorf/sport/deg/deg- ert-urgestein-walter-koeberle- 1.3129557
  27. DEG honors Kreutzer before the derby. In: wz.de. January 31, 2018, accessed March 22, 2019 .
  28. Christoph Ullrich: More legends for the DEG roof. In: shorthandednews.de. February 14, 2018, accessed March 22, 2019 .
  29. Metro Stars part ways with Michael Komma - Walter Köberle takes on the role of trainer
  30. https://www.derwesten.de/sport/eishockey/deg/das-sprungbrett-zum-profisport-id1456086.html
  31. Line 701 to the ISS dome is to be postponed rp-online.de from August 13, 2012, accessed on August 22, 2012
  32. Rp Online: Ice Hockey: DEG is looking for actors for mascots. In: rp-online.de. February 14, 2015, accessed June 20, 2017 .

Web links

Commons : Düsseldorfer EG  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on September 16, 2006 .