After a number of personal setbacks, there is still good news for the new national ice hockey coach Harold Kreis a few days before the start of the World Championship.
Shortly before the World Cup dress rehearsal with his still unfinished squad against the USA, Kreis welcomes another NHL star in Munich in world-class defender Moritz Seider from the Detroit Red Wings. "We are pleased that we can also build on his commitment and energy at the upcoming tournament and that he will strengthen our team," said DEB sports director Christian Künast on Monday.
Seider, who was named the best defender at the 2021 World Cup in Riga, had actually already canceled his participation in the World Cup due to some physical injuries. After a few days of regeneration, the 22-year-old now feels ready for the World Cup in Finland and Latvia.
Squad upgrade at just the right time
"Following the talks immediately after the end of the NHL season, there was continued contact between Moritz and us. Now he has signaled to us that he has fully recovered from his injuries in time and feels one hundred percent ready to go to the World Cup. There there was no question for us to include him in the World Cup squad before leaving for Finland," said Künast.
The unexpected squad upgrade comes at just the right time for the German Ice Hockey Federation, even if Seider will not be involved on Tuesday and possibly also on Friday at the start of the World Cup against eleven-time world champion Sweden in Tampere. Because just a few hours earlier, the DEB had reported on an emotional World Cup from veteran Yasin Ehliz. The 30-year-old attacker from champion Red Bull Munich is one of almost 15 top performers who have had to pull out injured. "Yasin shed tears because he can no longer be there," said Künast.
"We don't have much time left"
It is not known whether those responsible shed tears of joy that evening when it became clear that Seider was on his way to Munich. But it is clear that the 22-year-old has always raised the German defense to a different level in recent years and will help the new national coach enormously again after a mixed preparation so far.
The days before the start of the World Cup are always tricky. Kreis had only replaced half the squad last week because around a dozen players from the DEL finalists Munich and Ingolstadt and NHL striker JJ Peterka (Buffalo) were only available for the final preparation phase in Munich.
For this reason alone, the game against the USA is of particular importance. "It will be very, very important for us to grow together. We don't have much time left," said storm veteran Marcel Noebels from Eisbären Berlin. For Söderholm successor Kreis it is the last chance to subject his still unfinished World Cup squad to a final stress test before continuing to Finland on Wednesday.
Wissmann and Gawanke are also coming
In addition, there are now further unplanned squad changes after the cancellation of Ehliz and the strengthening of the defense. Because after Seider, the defenders Kai Wissmann (Providence) and Leon Gawanke (Manitoba) from the second-class North American professional league AHL are also to come. This means that the current squad will have to be reduced by four players - three defenders alone - before leaving for Tampere on Wednesday.
The challenges for Kreis do not stop. His predecessor Toni Söderholm, who surprisingly left DEB prematurely and almost hastily last November, sees the 64-year-old as exactly the right man to master the currently difficult task before the start of the World Cup. "He has a lot of experience and a feel for the game," said Söderholm of the German Press Agency.
The provisional squad at a glance:
Goal: Maximilian Franzreb (Bremerhaven Pinguins/26 years), Mathias Niederberger (EHC Red Bull Munich/30), Dustin Strahlmeier (Grizzlys Wolfsburg/30)
Defense: Dominik Bittner (Grizzlys Wolfsburg/30), Tobias Fohrler (HC Ambri-Piotta/Switzerland/25), Leon Hüttl (ERC Ingolstadt/22), Jonas Müller (Eisbären Berlin/27), Moritz Müller (Cologne Haie/36) , Marco Nowak (Eisbären Berlin/32), Moritz Seider (Detroit Red Wings/NHL/22), Maksymilian Szuber (Red Bull Munich/20), Fabio Wagner (ERC Ingolstadt/27), Mario Zimmermann (Straubing Tigers/22)
Attack: Andreas Eder (Red Bull Munich/27), Alexander Ehl (Düsseldorfer EG/22), Daniel Fischbuch (Düsseldorfer EG/29), Dominik Kahun (SC Bern/Switzerland/27), Maximilian Kastner (Red Bull Munich/30) , Marcel Noebels (Eisbären Berlin/31), John-Jason Peterka (Buffalo Sabers/NHL/21), Justin Schütz (Red Bull Munich/22), Samuel Soramies (Augsburger Panther/24), Wojciech Stachowiak (ERC Ingolstadt/23) , Nico Sturm (San Jose Sharks/NHL/28), Frederik Tiffels (Red Bull Munich/27), Parker Tuomie (Straubing Tigers/27), Filip Varejcka (Red Bull Munich/22)