The Adler Mannheim ('Mannheim Eagles', formerly Mannheimer ERC) are a professional ice hockey team of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest-level ice hockey league in Germany. The team is based in Mannheim, a city in the northern part of Baden-Württemberg. Currently, the team plays at SAP Arena, where they moved to at the beginning of the 2005–06 season after having played at Eisstadion am Friedrichspark for nearly seven decades from 1938 through 2005. They have won the German Championship a total of eight times, seven of those coming after 1994 in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
|League||Deutsche Eishockey Liga|
|Home arena||SAP Arena|
|Head coach||Pavel Gross|
German ice hockey changed a lot after the Deutsche Eishockey Liga was founded in 1994. Its growing influence also brought growing independence from the Deutscher Eishockey-Bund-organization (DEB) which dominated the ice hockey in Germany for decades.
The first incarnation of the Adler Mannheim were The Mannheimer ice and roller skating club (MERC: Mannheimer Eis- und Rollsportclub), founded on 19 May 1938. On 19 February 1939, they had their introduction match in the brand new Friedrichspark Stadium. The match against the winner of the German Championship was lost 0–11, but the following seasons were more and more successful. However, due to the ongoing Second World War, it was difficult to play a regular season without some limitations. In 1942, after the Mannheim was qualified for the finals, the proclamation of the total war led to the cancellation of the finals, less than 24 hours before their scheduled beginning.
On 5 June 1943, the Eisstadion am Friedrichspark was destroyed by an air attack on Mannheim. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, it took another four years before the hockey club began playing once again. In the 1951/52 season, Mannheim again had a team to play in a regular team, but it was not very successful. The most successful game in this time was a 10–2 victory against a team of American soldiers based in the Mannheim-area.
In 1994, the Mannheimer ERC was a founding member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. While the organization of the MERC still existed, the professional hockey team changed its name to Adler Mannheim and was transformed into an independent legal entity. The old organization MERC still performs in the amateur and junior sectors, including the successful junior team Jungadler Mannheim (young eagles Mannheim) (DNL).
The first two seasons in the DEL ended in playoff quarter finals, but the following season changed everything: the Mannheimer Adler swept through the playoffs. At the minimum number of nine games, they won the championship in 1997. After also winning the championships in 1998 and 1999, head coach Lance Nethery and several players left the team.
After a disastrous start to the regular 1999–2000 season, the Adler reached the playoffs again, but were beaten in the quarter finals again. After that season, head coach Chris Valentine had to go and was succeeded by Bill Stewart. In 2000/2001, they were back on the road to success with the fourth DEL championship in five years.
In their final season at Friedrichspark, Mannheim native Jochen Hecht (Buffalo Sabres), Cristobal Huet (Montreal Canadiens), Yannick Tremblay (Atlanta Thrashers) and Sven Butenschön (New York Islanders) joined the Adler during the 2004–05 NHL lockout. The team made it to the finals, but were defeated by the Eisbären Berlin.
The following season was disastrous. In their new home, the SAP Arena, the team was at position 10 at the end of the regular season. It was the first time in 26 years that the Adler Mannheim did not qualify for the playoffs.
Making several changes in the team roster, the team celebrated its resurrection in the following 2006–07 season. After winning the German Cup, they finished in first place in the regular season and then won their fifth DEL Championship.
Adler participated in the 2011 NHL Premiere series, losing to the Buffalo Sabres 8–3. The Sabres (who count among its players Mannheim native Jochen Hecht) were very well received in Mannheim, and later that season, a contingent of Adler fans traveled to Buffalo and Toronto to witness games hosted by the Sabres and Maple Leafs.
During the 2012 NHL lockout, the Adler Mannheim became a popular team for the lockout-players again. The former Mannheim-players Dennis Seidenberg (Boston Bruins) and Marcel Goc (Florida Panthers) joined the team once more. They were followed by Jason Pominville, captain of the Buffalo Sabres and again Jochen Hecht who was a free agent since his injury in early 2012. Hecht signed a contract (with a NHL-Out paragraph) until 2014, but after the lockout came to an end, he was offered a new, one-year contract by the Buffalo Sabres. After the Sabres contract expired, Hecht announced his intention to return to Mannheim to finish his professional career. On 19 June 2014, Mannheim hired Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward as their new head coach. Under Ward's guidance, the Adler squad won the 2015 German championship. Ward returned to the NHL after the 2014–15 season and was replaced by Greg Ireland. Ireland was sacked in February 2016, Craig Woodcroft, who had joined the Adler coaching staff in 2014, was promoted to head coach. Woodcroft failed to guide the Adler squad to the playoffs and left after the 2015–16 season. In May 2016, Sean Simpson was named new head coach.
In the 2016–17 DEL season, the Adler Mannheim drew an average home attendance of 10,812. On 4 December 2017, GM Teal Fowler, head coach Simpson and assistant coach Colin Muller were sacked due to unsatisfactory results. Bill Stewart, who had guided the club to the 2001 DEL title, took over the head coaching job.
- Deutsche Eishockey Liga Championship: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2015, 2019
- Eishockey-Bundesliga Championship: 1980
- German Cup: 2003, 2007
Updated May 10, 2019.
|Adler Mannheim retired numbers|
|2||Werner Lorenz||D||1956–1964||22 November 2012|
|10||Kurt Sepp||F||1956–1967||23 November 2012|
|12||Bruno Guttowski||D||1955–1964||23 November 2012|
|20||René Corbet||L||2001–2009||4 October 2011|
|80||Robert Müller1||G||2000–2002, 2006–2007||22 May 2009|
- 1After his death, the Adler Mannheim, the Kölner Haie and the EHC Klostersee retired his #80. At the beginning of the season 2008–09, his number was retired league-wide by the DEL.
- 1979/80: Erich Weishaupt, Joachim Casper, Harold Kreis, Werner Jahn, Brent Meeke, Bogoslaw Malinowski, Norbert Mundo, Marcus Kuhl, Ron Andruff, Holger Meitinger, Peter Obresa, Manfred Wolf, Dany Djakalovic, Peter Ascherl, Elias Vorlicek, Klaus Mangold, Jürgen Adams, Jörg Etz and Roy Roedger; Heinz Weisenbach (coach).
- 1996/97: Joachim Appel, Mike Rosati, Harold Kreis, Paul Stanton, Christian Lukes, Robert Nardella, Alexander Erdmann, Stéphane Richer, Martin Ulrich, Mike Pellegrims; Steve Thornton, Mario Gehrig, Pavel Gross, Dave Tomlinson, Daniel Körber, Rob Cimetta, François Guay, Jochen Hecht, Florian Keller, Till Feser, Philippe Bozon, Tommie Hartogs, Alexander Serikow, Christian Pouget, Dieter Kalt and Paul Beraldo; Lance Nethery (coach).
- 1997/98: Klaus Merk, Mike Rosati, Christian Künast, Darren Rumble, Gordon Hynes, Paul Stanton, Christian Lukes, Mike Posma, Christopher Felix, Stéphane Richer, Martin Ulrich, Mike Pellegrims, Alexander Erdmann, Mario Gehrig, Pavel Gross, Dave Tomlinson, Philippe Bozon, Rob Cimetta, François Guay, Jochen Hecht, Ole Eskild Dahlstrøm, Mike Hudson, Alexander Serikow, Christian Pouget, Denis Chassé, Ron Pasco, Daniel Marois, Philipp Schumacher and Dieter Kalt; Lance Nethery (coach).
- 1998/99: Sven Rampf, Pavel Cagas, Danny Lorenz, Helmut de Raaf, Gordon Hynes, Paul Stanton, Reid Simonton, Christian Lukes, Denis Perez, Stéphane Richer, Mike Pellegrims, Michael de Angelis, Brian Tutt, Mark Etz, Pavel Gross, Dave Tomlinson, Philippe Bozon, Kevin Miehm, Jason Young, Ron Pasco, Mike Hudson, Alexander Serikow, Christian Pouget, Mike Stevens, Philip Schumacher, Jan Alston and Jackson Penney; Lance Nethery (coach).
- 2000/01: Mike Rosati, Robert Müller, Helmut de Raaf, Bradley Bergen, Andy Roach, Christian Lukes, Francois Groleau, Stéphane Richer, Yves Racine, Dennis Seidenberg, Michael Bakos; Gordon Hynes, Mark Etz, Dave Tomlinson, Steve Junker, Wayne Hynes, Devin Edgerton, Ron Pasco, Marc Pederson, Georg Hessel, Todd Hlushko, Mike Stevens, Jan Alston, Jean-Francois Jomphe, Daniel Hilpert, Christopher Straube and Jackson Penney; Bill Stewart (coach).
- 2006/07 Jean-Marc Pelletier, Ilpo Kauhanen, Danny aus den Birken, Robert Müller, Blake Sloan, Sven Butenschön, Pascal Trepanier, François Bouchard, Martin Ancicka, Felix Petermann, Stephan Retzer, Nathan Robinson, Eduard Lewandowski, Jason Jaspers, Tomas Martinec, Christoph Ullmann, René Corbet, Colin Forbes, Rico Fata, Jeff Shantz, François Méthot, Ronny Arendt, Marcus Kink and Rick Girard; Greg Poss / Teal Fowler (coaches)
ERC Mannheimer WildCatsEdit
The female contingent of the Mannheimer ERC carries the name "Wild Cats." The most successful period in the WildCats' career was between 1988 and 1994 during which they won three German championships and vice-championships. The Wildcats did not play during the 2005–06 season after four players terminated their contracts. Therefore, they were forced to temporarily withdraw from the league.
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- Maple Leafs form partnership with German team to improve development – Winnipeg Free Press[dead link]
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- Stefan, Diepold. "Craig Woodcroft". www.eishockey-online.com. Archived from the original on 20 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
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- "Sean Simpson is the new coach of the Adler Mannheim | Archy De". Archy De. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
- IIHF. "Attendance 2016–2017". www.iihf.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "Adler trennen sich von Teal Fowler, Sean Simpson und Colin Müller". www.adler-mannheim.de (in German). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Adler Mannheim Mannschaft" (in German). Adler Mannheim. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.