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The Hamburg Freezers were a German professional men's ice hockey club from Hamburg, Germany that played in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. The club announced its withdrawal from the DEL and ceased operations on May 24, 2016 when Anschutz Entertainment Group, who owned both the Freezers and Eisbären Berlin, felt it was no longer financially viable to own two teams within the same hockey league.[1][2]

Hamburg Freezers
Club crest
NicknameIceboxes
CityHamburg, Germany
LeagueDeutsche Eishockey Liga
Founded1999; 20 years ago (1999)
Folded2016
Home arenaBarclaycard Arena Hamburg
(capacity: 13,000)
ColoursLight Blue, Navy, White, Gray
                   
Owner(s)Anschutz Entertainment Group
CaptainChristoph Schubert
Websitehamburg-freezers.de
Franchise history
1999–2002Munich Barons
2002–2016Hamburg Freezers

The Freezers were originally known as the Munich Barons from 1999 until 2002, before team owner Philip Anschutz relocated the franchise to Hamburg for financial reasons on June 3, 2002. The club was renamed as the Hamburg Freezers. Their German nickname was Eisschränke (iceboxes).

The team's official colours were crystal blue and white and they played their home games in the Barclaycard Arena Hamburg.

Goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère suited up for the Freezers during the 2004–05 NHL lockout season. Giguère played six games for Hamburg and posted a .925 save percentage, with a goals against average of 2.39.

During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn lined up for the Freezers in 19 games, amassing 7 goals and 13 assists, earning him a player of the month award for November.

Freezers during a match in 2006.

HistoryEdit

The Hamburg Freezers were founded in 2002, when the Munich Barons franchise was moved to Hamburg in northern Germany. The reason for the move was due to low turnouts and financial issues; Munich Barons had an average turnout of under 3,000 spectators, even though the team were crowned league champions in 2000. Despite being the second biggest city in Germany, Hamburg had no representation in the country's top league and was chosen as the next destination for the franchise.

In their first season, the attendance average rose to over 5,000 and the team finished in 8th place, making it through to the playoff quarter finals.

In the next 10 years, attendance figures continued to grow and the average attendance in 2011–12 was over 9,200. In its final season before the clubs demise, 2015–16, the club was the fourth-best supported team in German ice hockey and the tenth-best in Europe.[3]

The club was a perennial playoff team, though it never won a DEL championship.

In May 2016, team owner Philip Anschutz announced that the team would no longer be supported under his company Anschutz Entertainment Group. The Freezers were given a deadline of May 24, 2016 to find a buyer and new sponsorship, which was unable to be met, ceasing the operations of the club.[4]

RivalsEdit

Most of the DEL teams are based in the south and south west of the country, meaning there were very few local rivals for Hamburg. However, the Freezers did enjoy 'northern derbies' against two other franchises; Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg and Hannover Scorpions, while the team's main rivals were Eisbären Berlin, who are also owned by Philip Anschultz.

MascotEdit

The Hamburg Freezers mascot was Stanley the Lion, 'cousin' of Bailey the Lion of the Los Angeles Kings, another club owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Season recordsEdit

Season Games Won Lost Tie OTL SOL Points Goals
for
Goals
against
Rank Playoffs
2002–03 52 27 19 6 0 - 77 154 152 8 Lost in Quarterfinals
2003–04 52 32 17 0 3 - 95 151 115 3 Lost in Semifinals
2004–05 52 26 24 0 2 - 76 133 148 8 Lost in Quarterfinals
2005–06 52 29 17 - 0 6 85 144 145 6 Lost in Quarterfinals
2006–07 52 32 19 - 1 2 83 169 153 7 Lost in Quarterfinals
2007–08 56 28 20 - 1 7 87 194 171 7 Lost in Quarterfinals
2008–09 52 27 19 - 2 4 82 158 147 8 Lost in Quarterfinals
2009–10 56 20 31 - 4 1 61 162 200 14 Did Not Qualify
2010–11 52 23 21 - 3 5 69 135 161 11 Did Not Qualify
2011–12 52 28 24 - 3 2 83 149 149 5 Lost in Quarterfinals
2012–13 52 24 18 - 3 4 85 158 130 5 Lost in Quarterfinals
2013–14 52 30 13 - 5 1 102 162 116 1 Lost in Semifinals
2014–15 52 28 17 - 3 4 90 161 154 4 Lost in Quarterfinals
2015–16 52 18 22 - 3 3 72 142 166 11 Did Not Qualify

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hamburg Freezers werden keine DEL-Lizenz für die saison 2016/17 beantragen" (in German). hamburg-freezers.de. 2016-05-18. Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  2. ^ "Hamburg Freezers beantragen keine DEL-Lizenz für die Saison 2016/17" (in German). hamburg-freezers.de. 2016-05-24. Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  3. ^ "EUROPEAN ATTENDANCE RANKING PUBLISHED". iihf.com. International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  4. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Bid to save Hamburg Freezers DEL ice hockey team comes up short | Sports | DW.COM | 25.05.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2016-05-25.


External linksEdit