There is a clear path to good German ice hockey professionals at the international level. If a player is no longer strong enough for the National Hockey League (NHL) or does not achieve success in North America, he does not move to the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), but to another top European league. Because there is more fame and money to be earned from home. It was the same with Korbinian Holzer (KHL in Russia, only later Mannheim), Tobias Reeder and Tom Kuhnhackel (both engaged in Sweden) or Dominic Kahun (pension contract in Bern) and Mark Michaelis, who entered the first Swiss league. is the new. SC Langnau took it by storm – and thus (along with his allies) dropped another foreigner from the team, named Alexandre Grenier.
Not good enough for a weak Swiss club, but good enough for the German ice hockey champions, one might think: on Wednesday, Eisberen announced Grenier as an extra. Unlike Switzerland, he once had a regular location in Berlin. And the feel-good factor is high: while in Langnau he was alone among a Swiss, a few Finns and a German, in Berlin he meets a team that is half North American.
His new colleague in Berlin, the well-travelled Zach Boychuk, recently said that being Canadian is more fun in Germany than in other European leagues: “I immediately felt like home in Berlin.” Logically, anyone who is in Canada is well versed in ice hockey, well served in the DEL and doesn’t even have to learn a foreign language.
Grenier himself could really help the polar bears, as he lived in the beautiful Sauerland for nearly two years before his one-year hiatus at Sunder Emmental with the Iserlohn Roosters, following their sloppy start to the DEL season. So he knows the league well, he could possibly play for the Polar Bears in Friday’s home game against Bietigheim.
The 31-year-old attacker, who has made nine NHL appearances for the Vancouver Canucks, says of his move to Berlin: “I didn’t have to think long when I got this opportunity.” Since the Berliner has eleven licenses for foreign personnel allowed to be captured, there was still room for maneuver. “Only” nine foreigners licensed polar bears can’t use more per game anyway. The injured Yannick Veliaux and Brendan Guhle (have not even played for the Polar Bears yet) do not yet have licenses.
The Berlin squad now consists of 17 attackers, including Grenier. Apparently a young German player was not good enough to develop more ice ages. The story isn’t new, the DEL dilemma is well known, but of course it goes like this: Grenier’s commitment gives the polar bears more opportunities in their squad. And the Canadian has already shown in Iserlohn and Langnau that he can score and set goals.
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