Olympic silver winner Patrick Reimer has already noticed a small hint for his possible role in German ice hockey on his farewell tour.
The DEL record scorer, whose career could end on Friday, can well imagine taking on a job with the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB). With the goal that the national team actually wins more international medals.
"The national team has given me a lot. I was allowed to be part of the biggest success to date. And why not help ensure that it is not the only success to this extent?" says the 2018 Olympic finalist and Nürnberg Ice striker Tigers.
Reimers: "I can leave satisfied"
The association would have put out feelers a bit, says Reimer and laughs. At least that's how he interprets the scene when DEB Vice President Hauke Hasselbring, Managing Director of Fischtown Pinguins from Bremerhaven, whispered to him that it would be nice if he stayed with "us". "You can now interpret it however you want," says the 40-year-old. "But I think there are definitely opportunities to have conversations."
Because soon he will have time for a new life. On Sunday, Nuremberg had won the last main round game of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL) in Bremerhaven in a penalty shootout. The renewed duel with the Nordclub on Tuesday evening in the first playoff round was then lost 1:3. A home defeat on Friday (7.30 p.m. / MagentaSport) - and Reimer's exceptional career would be over. "No matter what happens - I can leave satisfied. I'll be happy when I retire on ice hockey," says Reimer. "I am 100 percent convinced of the decision."
It's a decision for the family too. He first wanted to enjoy a little time with his three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter before he clarified the question of the future. "I don't see myself in the coaching role," reports the Allgäu native. He would rather help put teams together or advise. He has enough experience.
In December 2003, Reimer played his first DEL game for Düsseldorf EG. As a DEL record scorer and eternal top scorer, he will now step down. His farewell will leave "a huge gap" in German ice hockey as a whole, says Nuremberg's sports director Stefan Ustorf. "Patrick Reimer is without question a face of German ice hockey in recent decades," enthuses DEL Managing Director Gernot Tripcke.
Reimers is not only a leading player on the ice
The top scorer was voted the most valuable DEL player three times. Despite all its class, it comes across as modest, it's not a loudspeaker. In 2020, however, he co-founded the players' association SVE in order to be able to influence the Corona crisis. Not only in Nuremberg, but also in the national team, he was a leading player for many years.
Even five years later, the top scorer still finds the sensational silver medal from Pyeongchang "madness" and "actually unimaginable". In the final he had an unlucky role. When Germany missed the chance for gold and the Russians scored the decisive goal in the final, the veteran of all people was in the penalty box. "It was just unfortunate, but fortunately it never bothered me," says Reimer.
The coup took some of the pressure off him. Twice he was runner-up with the DEG, but he never became champion. "I don't want to say it was a flaw, but in addition to many individual awards, the great team success was missing. Pyeongchang helped a lot there. It was a gigantic event," he recalls.
He replies immediately that he would, of course, prefer to resign as master. "That's the big dream. To achieve something in the last few meters that you haven't been able to do for 19 years would be awesome." Two wins in a row are mandatory to move into the playoff quarterfinals. Otherwise, Reimer's 1069th DEL game on Friday will be his last.