DEL2 (also known as DEL II) is the second tier ice hockey league in Germany, below the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) and ahead of the Oberliga. Founded in 2013 to replace the defunct 2nd Bundesliga, DEL2 is administered by ESBG, under licence from DEB.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2022-23 DEL2 season
|Motto||"Carried by passion, at home in ice hockey" |
|No. of teams||14|
|Ravensburg Towerstars |
|Most titles||SC Bietigheim-Bissingen |
|TV partner(s)||Sprade TV |
|Level on pyramid||Level 2|
|Promotion to||DEL (2020–21 onward)|
The DEL2 league was founded on 2 May 2013 by Eishockeyliga Betriebsgesellschaft mbH. The foundation of the league was controversial as it was preceded by a long standing dispute between the operator of the second division, Eishockeyspielbetriebsgesellschaft mbH (ESBG), and the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB).
In 2011, ESBG refused to sign a cooperation agreement between DEB and DEL citing unacceptable conditions. As a result, DEB withdrew their support of ESBG and promotion and relegation between the DEL and 2nd division was removed. On 18 April 2013, the Eishockeyliga Betriebsgesellschaft mbH was established by Ernst Rupp, CEO of Heilbronn Falcons. The new company was founded with the goal of reforming a new second division league. The new company quickly aligned with DEL and officially founded the new league on 2 May 2013. The DEB responded by labelling the new league an unsanctioned breakaway competition. ESBG subsequently filed an injunction against DEB in the Munich Regional Court. On 17 July 2013, the DEB, second division clubs and ESBG came to an out of court settlement on the matter. The settlement agreement between ESBG and DEB stipulated the status-quo of ESBG running the second division operations until 2018. Post 2018, the league would then be separated and self-run.
In 2014, the league expanded to include fourteen teams, the same number as the DEL. DEL2 had started with just twelve teams in the 2013/14 season.
In April 2015, DEB altered its statutes so clubs associated with DEL and DEL2 could become members of the DEB again. This decision by DEB led to a new agreement being reached between DEL and DEL2 in September 2015 to re-enable promotion and relegation between the two leagues. This system implemented was based on sporting achievement but came with specified condition caveats on the DEL2 team wishing to obtain promotion.
At the conclusion of the 2015/16 season, DEL2 was recognised as the best-supported second-tier hockey league in Europe. DEL2 had average spectator attendances of 2,688 per match.
1 July 2016, the DEL2 club Fischtown Pinguins became the first club from DEL2 to be ‘unofficially’ promoted to DEL. The Pinguins were not promoted through the DEL/DEL2 promotion system but instead applied for a vacated licence in DEL, following the withdrawal of the Hamburg Freezers who ceased operations on 24 May 2016.
In 2017, the DEL2 and Oberliga (German third division) reached agreement for the introduction of promotion and relegation between the two divisions. The first ever DEL2 relegation occurred at the end of the season with Starbulls Rosenheim relegated to Oberliga.
As of 2018, no DEL2 team had been able to meet the conditions for promotion to DEL. This led to new negotiations between the two leagues and in July 2018 a new agreement was reached to introduce automatic promotion and relegation between the two divisions, starting in the 2020/21 season, ten years after it was taken away.
|Former DEL2 Teams|
|Team||Location||Arena||Capacity||Founded||Joined league||Left league|
|Deggendorfer SC||Deggendorf||Bavaria||Eisstadion Deggendorf||2,790||1996||2018||2019|
|Fischtown Pinguins||Bremerhaven||Bremen||Eisarena Bremerhaven||4,674||1974||2013||2016|
The champions, runners-up and regular season premiers of the league standings:
|DEL2 season-by-season results|
|Season||Regular season||Playoffs||Top scorer||Promoted team||Relegated team|
|2013–14||Fischtown Pinguins||104||Fischtown Pinguins||4:1||Bietigheim Steelers||4:3||2:3||4:3||4:2||3:2||-||-||Harrison Reed||90||-||-|
|2014–15||Bietigheim Steelers||114||Bietigheim Steelers||4:2||Fischtown Pinguins||4:3||3:4||4:3||4:3||1:6||4:3||-||Mike Collins||81||-||-|
|2015–16||Bietigheim Steelers||111||EC Kassel Huskies||4:0||Bietigheim Steelers||1:0||3:2||3:2||5:2||-||-||-||Justin Kelly||85||Fischtown Pinguins||-|
|2016–17||Bietigheim Steelers||109||Löwen Frankfurt||4:2||Bietigheim Steelers||7:5||4:0||4:2||2:3||1:2||5:2||-||Matt McKnight||72||-||Starbulls Rosenheim|
|2017–18||SC Riessersee||103||Bietigheim Steelers||4:1||SC Riessersee||3:1||3:5||2:1||6:3||2:0||-||-||Richard Mueller||80||-||SC Riessersee|
|2018–19||Löwen Frankfurt||97||Ravensburg Towerstars||4:2||Löwen Frankfurt||5:3||1:3||6:5||7:4||1:3||5:1||-||Roope Ranta||79||-||Deggendorfer SC|
|2019–20||Löwen Frankfurt||95||Play-offs cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic||Dylan Wruck||88||-||-|
League player recordsEdit
The following are the top five all-time leaders in five different statistical categories: matches played; goals; assists; points; penalty minutes
- "DEL2 startet mit neuem Claim: Von Herzblut getragen. Im Eishockey zuhause" (in German). www.eishockeynews.de. 2019-08-23. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
- Welck, Tobias (2013-05-03). "DEL II-GmbH ist gegründet: Trennung vom DEB kaum mehr zu verhindern - Rupp: "Herr Harnos hat uns verarscht"" (in German). www.eishockeynews.de. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
- "Kooperationsvertrag bis 2018: Kein Auf- und Abstieg – DEB und DEL einigen sich" (in German). www.kicker.de. 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
- "DEB contra ESBG: Ralph Bader in der Rolle des Mediators" (in German). www.merkur.de. 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
- Kruchen, Vincent (2018-04-03). "Das Märchen vom funktionierenden Auf- und Abstieg". www.shorthandednews.de. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
- "DEB-Präsident Reindl setzt Reformen durch" (in German). www.faz.net. 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
- DEL: Rückkehr zu Auf- und Abstieg? Fahrplan steht! (in German) kicker.de, published: 8 September 2015, accessed: 22 September 2015
- "EUROPEAN ATTENDANCE RANKING PUBLISHED". iihf.com. International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Bremerhaven wird DEL-Standort" [Bremerhaven joins the DEL]. kicker.de (in German). Kicker (sports magazine). 1 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- Merk, Martin (2018-07-27). "Promotion returns to Germany". www.iihf.com. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
- "DEL II is official". Eurohockey.com. 2013-07-13.
- "DEL2 startet mit 14 Teams in die neue Saison" [DEL2 starts new season with 14 teams] (in German). DEL2. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- DEL 2 (in German) kicker.de, accessed: 22 September 2015
- "DEL2 - All Time Regular Season Player Stats". www.eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2019-08-27.