After the various championship celebrations of the past few days, there is still a lot of work to do for the sporting management of the polar bears in the coming days. The fact that sports director Stéphane Richer only takes a few days off at the end of June is because numerous decisions still have to be made in the coming days and weeks. In order to then be able to tackle the third title in a row with the right staff good to see whether they will still be wearing the jersey of the defending champion in the coming season. The departure of goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger to Munich and the end of Frans Nielsen’s career had already been communicated in the afternoon. Blaine Byron, for example, seemed particularly moved when he posed with the trophy in front of the TV tower and the best scenes of the past play-offs – and there were plenty of them—shown. When he later started his farewell round, the sentence was repeated over and over again: “Thank you for everything.”

The 27-year-old Canadian had not only played nationally in his DEL premiere season. 42 scorer points in 43 main round games and 14 more points in the play-offs have attracted interest from financially strong clubs from abroad. In the future he will probably play in Sweden. Ryan McKiernan also took the same step last year.

Johan Södergran also thanked Richer when he shook hands and wished him a “good summer”. The fact that he seemed far less emotional than Byron may be due to the fact that the Swede might have expected more from his trip to Berlin. He was allowed to raise the championship trophy, which is a privilege for every professional athlete. However, he couldn’t really recommend himself for higher tasks in North America – that was the goal. The maximum licenses for foreign professionals are known to be a rare commodity.

When Mark Zengerle entered the house and then took the elevator to the roof terrace, the American introduced himself to the reception on the ground floor as just Mark. Which led to a rather embarrassed smile on the part of the other person, because obviously the person lacking clarity as to whether it was a player or another guest.

It was about the striker, who experienced a rather mixed two years in Berlin. Numerous colleagues are associated with the titles, Zengerle played more of a supporting role. His contract will not be renewed. The working paper also ends for Simon Després. Unlike last year, when the cooperation was continued after talks, it now looks like a farewell. The Canadian, who is described by colleagues as rather dreamy anyway, seemed rather melancholic over the roofs of Berlin compared to the other players, who are just bursting with master energy.

Marco Baßler endured the last stage of the championship celebration almost apathetically. He didn’t play a minute in the playoffs. Despite a contract until 2023, that doesn’t exactly speak for the striker, who came from Straubing during the season.


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