Today 8:23 pm
Leon Draisaitl and Tim Stützle show that German ice hockey players are good for leading roles in the NHL. Can the German league also benefit from this?
The season in the National Hockey League (NHL) begins on Wednesday. Just a few years ago, the previews in this country would have asked whether Tobias Rieder can now play a good role in the Arizona Coyotes, what Tom Kühnhackl actually does, or whether Thomas Greiss and Philipp Grubauer can finally become regular goalkeepers in their teams.
The good news from a German point of view: Said four professionals are still employed in the best ice hockey league in the world, the bad ones from their point of view – they are of minor interest to ice hockey fans in this country (with the exception of Grubauer).
The German fans of this sport are wondering whether Leon Draisatil will be the best striker in the league again, whether Tim Stützle will be the best newcomer of the season and who else will be serving up all the German talents in Chicago or elsewhere.
German professionals are good for leading roles in North America. This could of course shift the focus of local ice hockey fans more towards the NHL, so the national league could lose focus. That would be a process like it once existed in basketball. At Dirk Nowitzki’s heyday, the basketball Bundesliga did not experience a boom, the NBA was more popular with the appendix in Germany.
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It doesn’t have to be that ice hockey is so bad – if the clubs in the DEL continue to build and promote talent, then the fans of the league will continue to follow.
Because then there are also the exciting questions about which talent can be as good as the role models. So the DEL could and should use the hype about the stars overseas – in order not to fall victim to the attention of Draisaitl and Co., as strange as that sounds.