Eisbären Berlin (pronunciation; English: Berlin Polar Bears) is a professional ice hockey team based in Berlin, Germany. The team competes in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), the highest level of play in professional German ice hockey, and is also one of the league's founding members. The Eisbären have won the DEL championship more often than any other team, with eight DEL championships as of the 2020–21 season. They won the German ice hockey cup in 2008 as well as the European Trophy in 2010. Before reunification the team won the East German ice hockey championship 15 times as SC Dynamo Berlin.[1]

Eisbären Berlin
CityBerlin, Germany
LeagueDeutsche Eishockey Liga
Founded1954; 70 years ago (1954)
Home arenaUber Arena
(capacity: 14,200)
Colours     
Owner(s)Anschutz Entertainment Group
(Philip Anschutz, chairman)
General managerPeter-John Lee
Head coachSerge Aubin
CaptainKai Wissmann
Websiteeisbaeren.de
Jerseys for 2013/2014 season
Franchise history
1954–1990SC Dynamo Berlin
1990–1992EHC Dynamo Berlin
Current season

The club's origins go back to 1954. It was the ice hockey department of sports club SC Dynamo Berlin. Following incorporation into the West German 1. Bundesliga in 1990, the ice hockey department became the independent ice hockey club EHC Dynamo Berlin, and then in 1992 renamed EHC Eisbären Berlin. The home games are played at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

The Eisbären Berlin are owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group. The official logo of the team is the polar bear, a reference to the bear appearing on Berlin's coat of arms.

History edit

1954–1994: GDR and 1. Bundesliga years edit

 
Dietmar Peters while playing for SC Dynamo Berlin.

The sports club SC Dynamo Berlin was part of the SV Dynamo sports association. The SV Dynamo was the nationwide sports association of the Stasi, Volkspolizei, and customs. The sports club offered a wide spectrum of competitive athletic activities, including track and field, football, swimming, gymnastics, fencing, rowing, boxing and ice skating. SC Dynamo Berlin created an ice hockey section in 1954.[2][3] The hockey section had originally begun as an ice hockey section of the SV Deutsche Volkspolizei Berlin sports community in 1950.[3]

SC Dynamo Berlin trained and played its matches in the large Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle in Prenzlauer Berg during its first years. The team won their first East German title in 1966. The league was reduced to just two teams, SC Dynamo Berlin and SG Dynamo Weißwasser, in 1971, which made up the smallest ice hockey league in the world. Altogether, SC Dynamo Berlin won the East German championship 15 times, the last title coming in 1988. In 1984, SC Dynamo Berlin competed at the European Cup of Champions and came in third place.[4]

In 1990, the year of German reunification, both former East German ice hockey clubs, SC Dynamo Berlin and SG Dynamo Weißwasser, which had been renamed PEV Weißwasser, were assigned to the 1. Bundesliga, at the time the highest level of play in German ice hockey. The ice hockey department of SC Dynamo Berlin became independent ice hockey club EHC Dynamo Berlin in the same year. However, Berlin was unable to compete successfully and was consequently relegated to the lower 2. Bundesliga at the end of the season. The club was promoted back to the 1. Bundesliga following the 1991–92 season. It was known that the president of SV Dynamo and the head of the Stasi Erich Mielke had been a warm supporter of ice hockey. EHC Dynamo Berlin had been financed by the East German Ministry of the Interior until the end of 1990.[5] The club tried to distance itself from its East German image, under the leadership of Günter Haake and manager Lorenz Funk.[6] In 1992 the club was renamed again, this time to "EHC Eisbären Berlin" and also introduced the polar bear logo. However, due to severe financial difficulties, the club had to rely heavily on its junior and other low-tier players and thus regularly finished at the bottom of the standings and struggled to avoid relegation to the 2. Bundeliga.[7]

1994–present: DEL years edit

The German Eishockey Bundesliga was abolished following the 1993–94 season and a new league – Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) – was created. The Eisbären are one of the league's 18 founding members. Following the Bosman ruling of 1995, the club replaced almost the entire roster with veteran European players in 1996–97.[8] The team finished the regular season in third place and reached the DEL play-offs for the first time. In 1997 the club was renamed EHC neue Eisbären Berlin gegr. 1997 e.V.[9] The following season, 1997–98, the Eisbären advanced to the final round of the DEL play-offs and finished the season as runner up. The team also participated in the 1998 IIHF Continental Cup in Tampere, Finland, and finished in second place.[8] In 1998–99, Eisbären participated in the European Hockey League and finished in third place.[8]

The Anschutz Entertainment Group acquired sole ownership of the Eisbären in 1999, ensuring financial stability.[8] The team finished in second place at the 2000 IIHF Continental Cup. In 2002–03 and 2003–04 the team finished the DEL regular season in first place, but fell short of capturing the title. At that time, the team had already become hugely popular, selling out 28 of 31 home games during the 2003–04 season[8] In 2005–06 and 2006–07, the Eisbären were the German representative at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.[8]

In 2004–05, a season marked by the 2004–05 NHL lockout, saw the Eisbären capture their first DEL championship. With the help of NHL veterans such as Erik Cole, Nathan Dempsey, and Olaf Kölzig, Berlin beat Mannheim in three games.[8] The title was defended successfully in 2006 against the DEG Metro Stars.[8] Their third DEL championship was captured in 2008, when the Eisbären beat Kölner Haie in the final round of the play-offs. In 2008, the Eisbären hosted the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning in a pre-season game, which the Lightning won 4:1.[10] The fourth DEL title followed in 2009, when the DEG Metro Stars were beaten 3:1 in a best-of-five final play-off round. In 2010, the team won the European Trophy, continuing its success on an international scale. A fifth DEL title was won in 2011, when the Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg were swept in the final round of the play-offs.[11] A sixth title was won in 2012, after a full-length best-of-five final against Adler Mannheim, with a seventh coming the next year after a 3:1 series victory over Kölner Haie.[12][13] With their 2013 title, the Eisbären Berlin had won 7 DEL titles, including three straight, making them the DEL championship record holder for several years; Adler Mannheim later tied the record in 2019.

In the 2016–17 league season, the Eisbären Berlin drew an average home attendance of 12,052.[14]

Eisbären ultimately won their eighth DEL championship in 2021, defeating Grizzlys Wolfsburg 2:1 in a best-of-three, and in the process reclaiming the record for most DEL championships.[15]

Home arena edit

 
Since 2008, the home ice has been Uber Arena.

SC Dynamo Berlin played its home matches in the Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle in Prenzlauer Berg during the first years.

The team then moved to the large sports complex Dynamo-Sportforum in Hohenschönhausen in 1964. The team played in the ice hockey facility of the Sportforum Hohenschönhausen until the 2007–08 season. The corrugated roof of the ice hockey facility gave rise to its popular name ”The Corrugated Palace" (German: Wellblechpalast). The capacity of the facility is 4,695 spectators.

Eisbären Berlin was one of the few former East German ice hockey clubs who managed to establish itself against the competition from clubs from former West Germany. The team beceame popular in areas such as Hohenschönhausen, Marzahn and Hellersdorf. Supporters of Eisbären Berlin chanted "East, East, East Berlin" and "Dynamo, Dynamo" well into the 2000s.[16][17][18]

Eisbären Berlin moved its home matches to the new Uber Arena (then known as O2 World) in the 2008–09 season. The Uber Arena is a multi-functional arena located in Friedrichshain near the Spree river. It has a seating-capacity of 14,200.[19] However, the team still uses the Wellblechpalast as a training facility. The youth teams of Eisbären Berlin are also based in the Sportforum Hohenschönhausen.

The northern curved end of the Uber Arena, with terracing for active supporters of Eisbären Berlin, was officially named "Hartmut Nickel curve" (German: Hartmut Nickel Kurve) in 2019, after the passing of legendary SC Dynamo Berlin forward Hartmut Nickel.[20][21] Nickel was popularly known as "Father Polarbear" (German: Papa Eisbär) in the club.[21]

Team anthem edit

The official team anthem of the Eisbären Berlin is "Hey, wir wollen die Eisbären seh'n" (approximately "Hey, We Want to See The Polar Bears"), recorded by veteran East German band the Puhdys in 1997. The song became a popular tune in German mountain resorts during après-ski parties, and went on to appear on several winter-themed music compilations. Dutch team Geleen Eaters have also used a lyrically altered cover of the song as their victory anthem.

The Eisbären goal song consists of a sequence of four separate elements. The line "Berlin, Halleluja Berlin", from the song "Brandenburg" by Rainald Grebe is followed by the can-can from Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld and the line "Ach du meine Nase" by the East German puppet character Pittiplatsch. The sequence is completed by the children's rhyme "Ene mene miste" from the popular children's TV programme Rappelkiste.

Honors edit

  Deutsche Eishockey Liga Championship: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2021, 2022
  East German Ice Hockey Championship: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988
  European Trophy: 2010
  Deutscher Eishockey-Pokal: 2008
  IIHF Continental Cup: 1998, 2000[22]
  European Hockey League (EHL): 1999

Players edit

Current roster edit

Updated 20 September 2023.[23]

No. Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
78   Michael Bartuli F L 21 2023 Hamburg, Germany
10   Lean Bergmann C L 25 2023 Hemer, Germany
2   Rayan Bettahar D L 20 2022 Nowy Targ, Poland
89   Zach Boychuk LW L 34 2021 Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
23   Blaine Byron C L 29 2023 Manotick, Ontario, Canada
28   Patrice Cormier C L 33 2023 Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick, Canada
22   Tobias Eder C R 26 2023 Tegernsee, Germany
4   Morgan Ellis D R 31 2021 Ellerslie, Prince Edward Island, Canada
16   Ben Finkelstein D R 26 2023 South Burlington, Vermont, United States
40   Korbinian Geibel D L 21 2020 Starnberg, Germany
86   Maximilian Heim F L 20 2022 Stuttgart, Germany
30   Jake Hildebrand G L 30 2023 Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
77   Eric Hördler F L 19 2022 Berlin, Germany
44   Julian Melchiori D L 32 2022 Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
12   Erik Mik D L 24 2018 Berlin, Germany
18   Jonas Müller D L 27 2010 Berlin, Germany
92   Marcel Noebels C L 32 2014 Tönisvorst, Germany
8   Marco Nowak D R 33 2022 Dresden, Germany
93   Leo Pföderl RW R 30 2019 Bad Tölz, Germany
9   Ty Ronning RW R 26 2023 Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
1   Jonas Stettmer G L 22 2023 Straubing, Germany
95   Frederik Tiffels LW L 28 2023 Köln, Germany
38   Yannick Veilleux LW L 31 2021 Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec, Canada
21   Manuel Wiederer RW R 27 2021 Deggendorf, Germany
6   Kai Wissmann (C) D R 27 2023 Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany


Honored members edit

Season-by-season record edit

Note: GP= Games, W = Win, L = Loss, T = Tie, OTL = Overtime Loss, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against

Point System: Win = 2 points, T = 1 point, OTL = 1 point

Season League GP W L T OTL Points Finish GF GA Postseason
1990–91 1. BL 44 8 29 7 0 23 12th 118 146 Relegated to 2. BL, lost to PEV Weißwasser 0:3 (best of five series)
1991–92 2. BL 48 25 13 10 0 60 3rd 233 162 Promoted to 1. BL
1992–93 1. BL 44 8 30 6 0 22 12th 118 207 Missed the Play-offs, avoided relegation, beat SERC 4:0 (best of seven series)
1993–94 1. BL 44 11 31 2 0 24 11th 119 214 Missed the Play-offs, avoided relegation, beat SERC 4:0 (best of seven series)
1994–95 DEL 44 10 32 2 0 22 18th 136 229 Missed the Play-offs
1995–96 DEL 50 11 34 3 2 27 17th 125 236 Missed the Play-offs
1996–97 DEL 50 26 19 4 1 57 4th 177 163 Lost the Semi-final to Kassel Huskies 1:3 (best of seven series)
1997–98 DEL 48 27 14 6 1 61 1st 179 139 Lost the Final to Adler Mannheim 1:3 (best of five series)

Note: W = Win, SOW – Shoot-out Win; L = Losses, SOL' – Shoot-out Losses

Point System: As of the 1998/99 season a new point scoring system was introduced: Win = 3 points; OT/SO Win = 2 points, OTL/SOL = 1point

Season League GP W SOW L SOL Points Finish GF GA Postseason
1998–99 DEL 52 26 4 17 5 91 2nd 210 163 Lost the Semi-final to Adler Mannheim 1:3 (best of five series)
1999–00 DEL 56 23 2 30 3 70 13th 181 193 Missed the Play-offs
2000–01 DEL 60 19 6 31 4 73 14th 192 221 Missed the Play-offs
2001–02 DEL 60 25 6 24 5 92 7th 177 166 Lost the Quarterfinal to Adler Mannheim 1:3 (best of five series)
2002–03 DEL 52 30 5 8 9 109 1st 188 134 Lost the Semi-final to Krefeld Pinguine 1:3 (best of five series)
2003–04 DEL 52 29 5 12 6 103 1st 171 126 Lost the Final to Frankfurt Lions 1:3 (best of five series)
2004–05 DEL 52 101 2nd 166 141 Won the Final against Adler Mannheim 3:1 (best of five series)
2005–06 DEL 52 34 n/a 18 n/a 100 1st 181 142 Won the Final against DEG Metro Stars 3:0 (best of five series)
2006–07 DEL 52 24 28 77 9th 171 157 Lost preliminary round to Frankfurt Lions 1:2 (best of three series)

Note: GP = Games, W = Wins, OTW = Overtime Wins, SOW = Shoot-out Wins, L = Losses, OTL – Overtime Losses, SOL = Shoot-out Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against

Point System: Win = 3 points; OT/SO Win = 2 points, OTL/SOL = 1point

Season League GP W OTW SOW L OTL SOL Points Finish GF GA Postseason
2007–08 DEL 56 33 2 3 14 3 1 113 2nd 231 165 Won the Final against Kölner Haie 3:1 (best of five series)
2008–09 DEL 52 36 1 4 14 0 2 105 1st 214 143 Won the Final against DEG Metro Stars 3:1 (best of five series)
2009–10 DEL 52 36 2 4 11 1 2 123 1st 209 156 Lost the Quarterfinal to Augsburger Panther 2:3 (best of five series)
2010–11 DEL 52 24 1 5 16 1 5 90 3rd 161 138 Won the Final against Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg 3:0 (best of five series)
2011–12 DEL 52 26 3 4 16 2 1 95 1st 171 140 Won the Final against Adler Mannheim 3:2 (best of five series)
2012–13 DEL 52 23 2 3 18 3 3 85 4th 180 152 Won the Final against Kölner Haie 3:1 (best of five series)
2013–14 DEL 52 20 3 5 20 0 4 80 8th 152 152 Lost the preliminary round playoff to ERC Ingolstadt 1:2 (best of three series)
2014–15 DEL 52 20 2 5 21 2 2 78 9th 162 143 Lost the preliminary round playoff to Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers 1:2 (best of three series)
2015–16 DEL 52 27 4 0 18 0 3 92 2nd 152 136 Lost the Quarterfinal to Kölner Haie 3:4 (best of seven series)
2016–17 DEL 52 19 1 1 24 5 2 68 8th 125 148 Lost the Semi-final to EHC München 1:4 (best of seven series)
2017–18 DEL 52 29 2 2 13 1 5 101 2nd 169 131 Lost the Final to EHC München 3:4 (best of seven series)
2018–19 DEL 52 20 1 5 24 0 2 74 9th 146 164 Lost the Quarterfinal to EHC München 2:4 (best of seven series)
2019–20 DEL 52 25 5 2 15 3 2 94 4th 169 144 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[25]
2020–21 DEL 38 23 0 1 9 2 3 76 3rd 137 91 Won the Final against Grizzly Wolfsburg 2:1 (best of three series)
2021–22 DEL 55 34 0 1 12 4 4 112 1st 194 139 Won the Final against EHC München 3:1 (best of five series)
2022–23 DEL 56 18 4 2 22 3 7 76 11th 160 171 Missed the Play-offs
2023–24 DEL 52 29 3 3 14 0 3 102 2nd 181 134

[26][27]

Club statistics edit

Note: this section includes only statistics accumulated between 1990 and the end of the 2011/12 season.[28]

Points leaders
Player Seasons Games Goals Assists Points
Sven Felski 1992–2012 857 209 326 535
Steve Walker 2000–2011 508 179 346 525
Mark Beaufait 2002–2009 223 110 211 321
Denis Pederson 2003–2012 348 131 186 317
Stefan Ustorf 2004–2012 363 94 185 279
Goals
Player Seasons Games Goals
Sven Felski 1992–2012 857 209
Steve Walker 2000–2011 508 179
Denis Pederson 2003–2012 348 131
Chris Govedaris 1996–2001 247 117
Mark Beaufait 2002–2009 223 110
Assists
Name Seasons Games Assists
Steve Walker 2000–2011 508 346
Sven Felski 1992–2012 857 326
Mark Beaufait 2002–2009 223 211
Marc Fortier 1996–2002 311 198
Denis Pederson 2003–2012 348 186
Most Points in a Single Season
Name Season Games Goals Assists Points
Mark Jooris 1991–1992 50 54 69 123
Steve Walker 2007–2008 53 27 58 85
Jiří Dopita 1994–1995 42 28 40 68
Thomas Graul 1991–1992 47 28 32 60
Alex Hicks 2000–2001 56 27 31 58
Most Penalty Minutes
Name Seasons Games PIM
Sven Felski 1992–2012 857 1565
Rob Leask 1996–2006 463 797
Denis Pederson 2003–2012 345 527
Mario Chitaroni 1996–2000 192 512
Yvon Corriveau 1997–2004 237 492
Play-off scoring leaders
Player Seasons Games Goals Assists Points
Steve Walker 2000–2011 85 34 33 67
Mark Beaufait 2002–2009 66 24 38 62
Stefan Ustorf 2002–2012 63 17 43 60
Denis Pederson 2000–2012 65 28 28 56
Sven Feslki 1992–2012 89 15 33 48

Sponsors edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "History: All Teams". Eisbären Berlin. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  2. ^ Müller, Stephan (2000). Deutsche Eishockey Meisterschaften (in German). Norderstedt: BoD – Books on Demand. p. 137. ISBN 978-3831109975.
  3. ^ a b Müller, Stephan (2000). Deutsche Eishockey Meisterschaften (in German). Norderstedt: BoD - Books on Demand. p. 139. ISBN 978-3831109975.
  4. ^ "History:Milestones". Eisbären Berlin. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  5. ^ Schulz, Jürgen (13 August 1990). "Mit heißen Tränen aufs eiskalte Parkett". Die Tageszeitung (in German). Berlin: taz Verlags u. Vertriebs GmbH. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  6. ^ Vetter, Claus (8 November 2013). "20 Jahre Eis-Dynamo: Dinosaurier mit Scheibe". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Berlin: Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  7. ^ "History:Milestones". Eisbären Berlin. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Eisbären Berlin History" (in German). Eisbären Berlin. 20 April 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Eisbären Berlin GESCHICHTE – ZEITTAFEL". Eisbären Berlin (in German). 20 April 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Lightning 4, Berlin Eisbaren 1". 28 September 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Berlin gets hockey title after thriller". Deutsche Eishockey Liga (in German). 19 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Eisbären krallen sich die Krone". Deutsche Eishockey Liga (in German). 24 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Mende, Dennis (21 April 2013). "Eisbären Berlin are DEL champions!". eurohockey.com. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Attendance 2016–2017". Archived from the original on 15 March 2017.
  15. ^ "EISBÄREN HOLEN ACHTEN TITEL IN DER PENNY DEL". Deutsche Eishockey Liga (in German). 7 May 2021. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  16. ^ Kopp, Johannes (10 April 2008). "Eishockey in Berlin: Abschied vom Wellblechpalast". Die Tageszeitung (in German). Berlin: taz Verlags u. Vertriebs GmbH. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  17. ^ Goldmann, Sven (8 November 2009). "Eishockey: Ost-Ost-Ost-Berlin". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Berlin: Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  18. ^ Niessen, Benedikt (23 December 2015). "Zwischen Ostalgie und Stasi-Erbe: Wie Eisbären-Fans den Dynamo-Kult weiterleben". Vice (in German). Berlin: VICE Media GmbH. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  19. ^ "O2 World (In German)". Eisbären Berlin. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Eisbären Berlin: EHC trauert um Vereinslegende Hartmut Nickel". Berliner Zeitung (in German). Berlin: Berliner Verlag GmbH. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  21. ^ a b Paul, Carolin (15 October 2019). "Ein Abend ganz im Zeichen von Papa Eisbär". Berliner Kurier (in German). Berlin: Berliner Verlag GmbH. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  22. ^ "Zeittafel". Eisbären Berlin. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  23. ^ "Eisbären Berlin - Spieler" (in German). www.eisbaeren.de. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  24. ^ "Sven Felski ends career - Eurohockey.com".
  25. ^ "Deutsche Eishockey Liga beendet Saison vorzeitig". del.org (in German). Archived from the original on 13 March 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Standings for the Berlin Polar Bears of the 1.GBun". Eisbären Berlin. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  27. ^ "Standings for the Berlin Polar Bears of the DEL". Eisbären Berlin. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  28. ^ "All-time roster for the Berlin Polar Bears of the DEL". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 9 July 2012.

External links edit