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Old
10-25-2006, 11:13 PM
  #1
Lucky Lager
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German Leagues

Can anyone give me an overview on how the German system is set up? How many divisions are there (ex: 1st Division, 2nd Tier Division etc..)
Just any facts and info you could give me. I will pick away at your brain after that

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10-26-2006, 02:02 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benderkyle View Post
Can anyone give me an overview on how the German system is set up? How many divisions are there (ex: 1st Division, 2nd Tier Division etc..)
Just any facts and info you could give me. I will pick away at your brain after that
DEL (=Deutsche Eishockey Liga) - > 1st Division
1. Bundesliga -> 2nd Division
Oberliga -> 3rd Division
Regionalliga -> 4th Division

Then come further lower, regional divisions - but they are called differently in the different federal states of Germany.
DEL works like the NHL - With the beginning of this season the system of promotion and relegation has been removed.

Just let me know if you need to know more !

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10-26-2006, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonecrusher View Post
DEL (=Deutsche Eishockey Liga) - > 1st Division
1. Bundesliga -> 2nd Division
Oberliga -> 3rd Division
Regionalliga -> 4th Division

Then come further lower, regional divisions - but they are called differently in the different federal states of Germany.
DEL works like the NHL - With the beginning of this season the system of promotion and relegation has been removed.

Just let me know if you need to know more !
We know the DEL's calibre. It's top notch. What about the second and 3rd divisions. Waht would be the North American equivalent in terms of league? I always hear people talking about going to play pro in Germany, do these secondary leagues pay well?

Germany is amazing.. Would love to go.

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10-26-2006, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KariyaIsGod View Post
We know the DEL's calibre. It's top notch. What about the second and 3rd divisions. Waht would be the North American equivalent in terms of league? I always hear people talking about going to play pro in Germany, do these secondary leagues pay well?

Germany is amazing.. Would love to go.
Hart to tell, as I have never seen a hockey game in North America below the AHL.
I would say the AHL comes between DEL and Bundesliga.
There's a huge gap between the divisions in Germany.

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10-26-2006, 12:50 PM
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Oh, I'd say there is a pretty large gap between the AHL and the 2.Bundesliga. At least as large as the difference between NHL and DEL.

The 2.Bundesliga has some former NHL-, AHL- and ECHL-players, not to mention some from the DEL as well, but overall I would rank it quite a bit below the ECHL.
Salaries should be higher than in the ECHL, but that is the norm for European leagues.

The gaps between the divisions is indeed quite large. The DEL has the best Germans plus twice as many (and better) foreigners as the 2.Bundesliga. The Oberliga is somewhat of a step between professional and amateur hockey.

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10-27-2006, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
Oh, I'd say there is a pretty large gap between the AHL and the 2.Bundesliga. At least as large as the difference between NHL and DEL.

The 2.Bundesliga has some former NHL-, AHL- and ECHL-players, not to mention some from the DEL as well, but overall I would rank it quite a bit below the ECHL.
Salaries should be higher than in the ECHL, but that is the norm for European leagues.

The gaps between the divisions is indeed quite large. The DEL has the best Germans plus twice as many (and better) foreigners as the 2.Bundesliga. The Oberliga is somewhat of a step between professional and amateur hockey.
True, it does seem that most Euro leagues pay a decent wage. Enough to live off of anyway.

Interesting though, a paid vacation to Germany would be outrageously good.

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10-29-2006, 05:52 AM
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Saying that the DEL is clearly above the AHL would be saying the DEL is better than the SM-liiga and the Elitserien which are just above the AHL...

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10-31-2006, 06:03 AM
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The DEL is comparable to the AHL, but not to be forgotten is that the teams in the DEL are allowed to play 11 foreigners. In addition, most of those foreigners are ending their careers while the AHL is an educational building league for NHL prospects. That's a distinct difference. I personally think the top DEL clubs have no problems playing against top clubs in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Russia, much less Slovakia, although each of these leagues have much stricter limits to how many foreigners can play there, so in the end, their leagues are actually a tick stronger from the standpoint of homegrown players.

From a playing level, I've seen much of both the DEL & AHL and they are highly comparable, with the DEL actually being better on good nights. The style is however slightly different and there are often HUGE talent gaps between the first and fourth line at the DEL level.

The 2nd Bundesliga is comparable to the ECHL. I've seen many of both and can say that both can be very exciting or simply awful on any given night. Several 2nd league teams are very good and when the play against DEL teams you hardly notice a difference (like Kassel this season). Lots of Germans are using the 2nd league as a place to gather experience and then jump into the DEL. It's a concept that has started bearing fruits in the past few seasons. The 3rd league - Oberliga - is actually quite entertaining. Many teams are quite bad, but not to be forgotten is that most of these teams play in towns that have little else and enjoy a cult following. Many of the players are homegrown and the fans love to identify with their home town boys. These teams aren't permitted more than 5 foreigners and those players are usually the absolute top players. Every fan in this league knows that their team has to get good foreigners to compete. C'est la vie la.

True, many top ECHLers who don't want secondary roles in the AHL and know they have no shot at the NHL wisely choose to come to Germany and play in the 2nd and 3rd leagues. They have the opportunity to make as much if not more money - often in addition to a sponsored car and apartment - to play less games on a more regular schedule with plenty of time to travel around and see Europe in the process. It can be an absolute adventure and most ECHLers with any interest in travelling and culture should DEFINITELY look to spend a season or two playing in one of these two leagues. Plenty have also come here and met their future wives. In addition, several lifetime ECHLers (i.e., Victor Gervais, Francois Fortier) have come here and eventually made it to the DEL, even playing key offensive roles for their teams. In other words, there is a chance to move up and the playing style here is surely more suitable for a lot of savvy North Americans who don't find their nitch in NAmerica.

However, the teams aren't stupid and they don't just take ANY ol' ECHLers. Some UHLers or PCHLers have come over too, but when they do, they're often absolute topscorers in their leagues or former NHL draft picks. Teams with fewer financial options often take chances on Canadian and US college kids. Also, there is a lot of competition among foreigners here, meaning the teams with fewer financial options usually pick up players from Eastern Europe and don't even consider the North American fellas.

If you're looking for paid ice hockey work over here and you don't have an agent or considerable junior/college + say, ECHL experience, teams here will most likely not offer you more than a short unpaid tryout. Should you accept such a situation, remember to show lots of patience, understanding and very little attitude. That can go far in getting yourself a contract at one of the lower levels, even if you're not as good as other players they might be considering. Teams have often had problems with foreigners outside of the rink and that's something they all want to avoid vehemently.

Good luck!

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10-31-2006, 09:55 AM
  #9
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Originally Posted by CIsle View Post
The 2nd Bundesliga is comparable to the ECHL. I've seen many of both and can say that both can be very exciting or simply awful on any given night. Several 2nd league teams are very good and when the play against DEL teams you hardly notice a difference (like Kassel this season).
In Kassel's case that isn't exactly surprising, as pretty much their whole roster played in the DEL last season or at least in the years before that

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11-04-2006, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
In Kassel's case that isn't exactly surprising, as pretty much their whole roster played in the DEL last season or at least in the years before that

But to be honest, Kassel's roster merely consists of players, that aren't good enough to play DEL any longer with Boisvert and McNeil being two of a few exemptions.

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11-14-2006, 03:14 AM
  #11
Lucky Lager
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CIsle View Post
The DEL is comparable to the AHL, but not to be forgotten is that the teams in the DEL are allowed to play 11 foreigners. In addition, most of those foreigners are ending their careers while the AHL is an educational building league for NHL prospects. That's a distinct difference. I personally think the top DEL clubs have no problems playing against top clubs in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Russia, much less Slovakia, although each of these leagues have much stricter limits to how many foreigners can play there, so in the end, their leagues are actually a tick stronger from the standpoint of homegrown players.

From a playing level, I've seen much of both the DEL & AHL and they are highly comparable, with the DEL actually being better on good nights. The style is however slightly different and there are often HUGE talent gaps between the first and fourth line at the DEL level.

The 2nd Bundesliga is comparable to the ECHL. I've seen many of both and can say that both can be very exciting or simply awful on any given night. Several 2nd league teams are very good and when the play against DEL teams you hardly notice a difference (like Kassel this season). Lots of Germans are using the 2nd league as a place to gather experience and then jump into the DEL. It's a concept that has started bearing fruits in the past few seasons. The 3rd league - Oberliga - is actually quite entertaining. Many teams are quite bad, but not to be forgotten is that most of these teams play in towns that have little else and enjoy a cult following. Many of the players are homegrown and the fans love to identify with their home town boys. These teams aren't permitted more than 5 foreigners and those players are usually the absolute top players. Every fan in this league knows that their team has to get good foreigners to compete. C'est la vie la.

True, many top ECHLers who don't want secondary roles in the AHL and know they have no shot at the NHL wisely choose to come to Germany and play in the 2nd and 3rd leagues. They have the opportunity to make as much if not more money - often in addition to a sponsored car and apartment - to play less games on a more regular schedule with plenty of time to travel around and see Europe in the process. It can be an absolute adventure and most ECHLers with any interest in travelling and culture should DEFINITELY look to spend a season or two playing in one of these two leagues. Plenty have also come here and met their future wives. In addition, several lifetime ECHLers (i.e., Victor Gervais, Francois Fortier) have come here and eventually made it to the DEL, even playing key offensive roles for their teams. In other words, there is a chance to move up and the playing style here is surely more suitable for a lot of savvy North Americans who don't find their nitch in NAmerica.

However, the teams aren't stupid and they don't just take ANY ol' ECHLers. Some UHLers or PCHLers have come over too, but when they do, they're often absolute topscorers in their leagues or former NHL draft picks. Teams with fewer financial options often take chances on Canadian and US college kids. Also, there is a lot of competition among foreigners here, meaning the teams with fewer financial options usually pick up players from Eastern Europe and don't even consider the North American fellas.

If you're looking for paid ice hockey work over here and you don't have an agent or considerable junior/college + say, ECHL experience, teams here will most likely not offer you more than a short unpaid tryout. Should you accept such a situation, remember to show lots of patience, understanding and very little attitude. That can go far in getting yourself a contract at one of the lower levels, even if you're not as good as other players they might be considering. Teams have often had problems with foreigners outside of the rink and that's something they all want to avoid vehemently.

Good luck!
Any comparison for the 4th division? A last name such as Bender.. how could they turn me down? It's german!

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Old
11-15-2006, 02:30 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by benderkyle View Post
Any comparison for the 4th division? A last name such as Bender.. how could they turn me down? It's german!
Maybe they were worried you'd spend all their money on blackjack and hookers.

If by "4th division" you mean "Regionalliga", then you should know that there are only 3 spots per team available to non-Germans. Managers are probably wary of risking one of those with someone they have never heard of before.

As for North Americans in the German minor leagues, I'd describe it like this:

2. Bundesliga: Some AHL players, many good ECHLers, some UHL or CHL, and some out of the NCAA (Div. I). One of the top forwards of the past two seasons, Eric Schneider, was a sniper in the ECHL with some AHL experience before he came over. So that's probably where the league's clubs are searching for players in the off-season. And there's even an ex-NHLer and former Coyotes' 1st round pick playing goal on my home team. *g*

Oberliga: mainly ECHL and lower minor leagues, some college grads from NCAA Div. I or III or even the CIS. Some North Americans get there via England, Denmark, Italy or some other lower-level European league. If you're good, you may get a contract in the 2. BL after that. It's easier than making the jump from 2. BL to DEL imo.

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12-12-2006, 11:41 AM
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I like to keep track of former AHL players and especially former Springfield Falcons players when they go to Europe. I think many of you are selling the AHL short. Most hockey people believe the AHL is the second best hockey league in the world. The biggest difference between the AHL and the NHL is that players generally make more mistakes in the AHL and that superstars end up in the NHL. There is very little noticable difference between players in the NHL and AHL other than those superstars and most players are interchangable between the two leagues. I can give hundreds of examples.

You don't see AHL players looking out of place when they get called up to the NHL and you don't see NHL players standing out when they get sent down to the AHL. About half of every AHL team's roster has NHL experience. Can you say the same about DEL rosters?

I would say the top leagues in Europe come close to the AHL and the better 2nd division teams are between the AHL and ECHL.

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12-19-2006, 08:30 PM
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You think there are teams in AHL who could beat Kazan, Magnitogorsk, Himik, Yaroslavl' on regular bases?
U got to be kidding me. I think the lower part of the table in Russia is equivalent to AHL

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12-19-2006, 11:51 PM
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NHL-experience has nothing to do with talent.
If a smallish scorer isn't good enough for the top-lines in the NHL, you won't see him on the third or fourth lines either. That doesn't mean that a gritty AHLer who played 20 five-minute games in the NHL is better than him. Those guys rarely come over to Europe, because they are simply not good enough.

The "foreigners" in Europa are either former NHL-players or the high-end guys of the AHL, with some rare former-ECHLers who have developed into something more.

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12-20-2006, 11:52 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
NHL-experience has nothing to do with talent.
If a smallish scorer isn't good enough for the top-lines in the NHL, you won't see him on the third or fourth lines either. That doesn't mean that a gritty AHLer who played 20 five-minute games in the NHL is better than him. Those guys rarely come over to Europe, because they are simply not good enough.

The "foreigners" in Europa are either former NHL-players or the high-end guys of the AHL, with some rare former-ECHLers who have developed into something more.
+1 for the most part. I thought the same thing. An NHL team has only 10 spots for creative players. Let's say there's a guy A, who is somewhat (marginally better than guy B) But the guy B is singed for 4 years and a guy A is a ufa. An NHL team will not sign that A guy. So chances are this guy A will end up in Europe.

Than you got some rugged guyes, who are much worse than either a guy A or a guy B, but yet find their niche on 3rd or 4th line...


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