DEL reacts to storm criticism
The silver medal at the Olympics should not be a flash in the pan for German ice hockey. That’s why the DEL is introducing a newcomer concept starting next season.
The German Ice Hockey League (DEL) wants to support young players more strongly in the future and thus also responds to the wishes of national coach Marco Sturm. A mandatory number of young players of the U23 age group in the squad is planned starting next season. The gradual adjustment is quite cautious; only from the 2023/24 season onwards must there be at least three young players per match among 19 possible field players (DEL: results/programme).
“We want to broaden the base of younger German players in the long term, both for the DEL, but of course also with a view to the national team as the flagship of our sport,” said Jürgen Arnold, Chairman of the DEL Supervisory Board. Starting next season, a young player eligible to play for the national team must be one of the 19 field players.
The DEL wants to make a contribution to the “Powerplay 26” concept of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB). This stipulates that the DEB will constantly compete internationally for medals from 2026. In addition, the age structure in the DEL is to be improved. From the 2018/19 season, four fixed licenses for U23 and U20 players (1/3) must be among the maximum 33 that a club can award. By the season, the ratio is expected to change to 6 out of 31.