Career ends in playoffs: DEL legend Reimer “just grateful” despite early end


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Career ends in playoffs
DEL legend Reimer “just grateful” despite the early end

Patrick Reimer made his debut in the German ice hockey league almost 20 years ago. He played for the Düsseldorfer EG for nine years and for the Nuremberg Ice Tigers for eleven years. At both clubs, the Olympic silver medalist becomes a legend. To say goodbye to the 40-year-old, the whole league celebrates him.

1069 games, 394 goals, 859 scorer points – the DEL record scorer and record scorer Patrick Reimer has resigned, one of the greatest German ice hockey careers ended. The Nuremberg Ice Tigers’ early exit from the playoffs turned into a big farewell party. Shortly before the end of the 2:4 (0:2, 2:0, 0:2) against the Fischtown Pinguins from Bremerhaven, who thus entered the playoff quarterfinals of the German Ice Hockey League, only Reimer was celebrated without exception. Almost 8,000 spectators in Nuremberg chanted Reimer’s name for minutes, the 40-year-old was sent on several laps of honor, also received recognition from the opponent, tears flowed.

“It was a very, very emotional season,” said defender Oliver Mebus at MagentaSport, when asked about Reimer before his voice failed. “He’s a great player and a great person,” said Mebus when he had recovered. Later, when Reimer gave one of his many farewell statements that evening, Mebus finally cried uncontrollably. The 30-year-old could switch to Düsseldorfer EG for the new season – where everything began for Reimer almost 20 years ago.

DEL debut in December 2003

In December 2003 he made his DEL debut for DEG, with which he finished second twice in nine years. When financial backers and name sponsor Metro later withdrew, Reimer, who had long since become an important national striker, went to Nuremberg, where he ultimately stayed for eleven years. “I’m just grateful,” Reimer said in retrospect. He never became champion, but became a legend at two clubs because of his down-to-earth attitude.

“It shows that I’ve done a lot of things right in recent years,” said Reimer about the encouragement and a few weeks ago at his last appearance in Düsseldorf. For a little more money he would never have moved away from his oases of well-being in Düsseldorf and Nuremberg to the biggest clubs in the league.

“I’m incredibly sorry for him. I would have given him the chance to play a quarter-final again. Because then everyone will know what’s possible from there,” said Mebus about his team’s early end. But Reimer was always appreciated throughout the league, even without a title. The Bremerhaven players also paid tribute to him on Friday.

Significantly involved in Olympic silver

He got the warmest hug from his former companion Alexander Sulzer. He used to play with the former NHL defender and current assistant coach of Bremerhaven and the national team when he was young at ESV Kaufbeuren and later in Düsseldorf.

In the national team, Reimer once experienced the greatest German ice hockey success up close. What’s more, he was instrumental in the Olympic silver medal in Pyeongchang. Unforgotten was his goal in extra time in the quarter-finals against ice hockey superpower Sweden, which went down in the German sports history books as a “good goal” (correct goal) after agonizing minutes of video evidence.

He later became a tragic figure in the final against the Russian athletes, when the winning goal for the Olympic champion came in overtime after a penalty for Reimer.

The DEL record scorer is likely to remain in German ice hockey. Not as a coach, but rather at some point as the sports director of the German Ice Hockey Federation. “The national team gave me a lot. I was allowed to be part of the biggest success to date. And why not help ensure that it is not the only success to this extent?” said the 2018 Olympic finalist.

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