|Full name||Adler Mannheim|
|League||Deutsche Eishockey Liga|
|Head Coach||Hans Zach|
Adler Mannheim ('Mannheim Eagles', formerly Mannheimer ERC) are an ice hockey team of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest ice hockey league in Germany. The team is from Mannheim, a city in the north of Baden-Württemberg. Currently, the team plays at SAP Arena, where they moved at the beginning of the 2005–06 season after having played at Eisstadion am Friedrichspark for nearly seven decades from 1938 through 2005.
1980, 1997, 1998,
1999, 2001, 2007
1982, 1983, 1985,
1987, 2002, 2005, 2012
German Cup winners:
German Cup runners-up:
German ice hockey changed a lot after the Deutsche Eishockey Liga was founded in 1994. Its growing influence also brought growing independence from the Deutscher Eishockey-Bund-organization (DEB) which dominated the ice hockey in Germany for decades.
The first incarnation of the Adler Mannheim were The Mannheimer ice and roller skating club (MERC: Mannheimer Eislauf und Rollschuhclub), founded on May 19, 1938. On February 19, 1939, they had their introduction match in the brand new Friedrichspark Stadium. The match against the winner of the German Championship was lost 0–11, but the following seasons were more and more successful, but due to the ongoing Second World War it was difficult to play a regular season without some limitations. In 1942, after the Mannheim was qualified for the finals the proclamation of the total war led to the cancellation of the finals, less than 24 hours of their scheduled beginning.
On June 5, 1943, the Friedrichspark Stadium was destroyed by an air attack on Mannheim. After the end of the Second World War in 1945 it took four more years begin to play ice hockey again. In the 1951/53 season Mannheim again had a team to play in a regular team, but it was not very successful. The most successful game in this time was a 10–2 victory against a team of American soldiers based in the Mannheim-Area.
In 1994 the Mannheimer ERC was a founding Member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. While the organization of the MERC still existed the professional hockey team changed its name to Adler Mannheim and were transformed to an independent legal entity. The old organization MERC is still performs in the amateur and junior sectors, including the successful junior team Jungadler Mannheim (young eagles Mannheim) (DNL).
The first two seasons in the DEL ended in playoff quarter finals. But the following season changed everything: The Mannheimer Adler swept through the playoffs. At the minimum number of 9 games the won the championship in 1997. After also winning the championships in 1998 and 1999 head coach Lance Nethery and several players left the team.
In 1999/2000 after a disastrous start to the regular season the Adler reached the playoffs again, but were beaten at the quarter finals again. After that season head coach Chris Valentine had to go and was succeeded by Bill Stewart. In 2000/2001 they were back on the road to success with the fourth DEL championship in 5 years.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout season, Mannheim native Jochen Hecht (Buffalo Sabres), Cristobal Huet (Montreal Canadiens), Yannick Tremblay (Atlanta Thrashers) and Sven Butenschon (New York Islanders) joined the Adler. The team made it to the finals but were beaten by the Eisbären Berlin. The last games this season was also the last game in the old Friedrichspark stadium.
The following season was a disastrous. In their new home, the SAP Arena, the team was on pos. 10 at the end of the regular season. It was the first time in 26 years the Adler Mannheim did not make it to the play-offs.
Making several changes in the team roster, the team celebrated its resurrection in the following season 2006/2007. After winning the German cup, they closed the regular season at pos. 1. The success continued in the playoffs, so the Adler had their fifthd DEL-Championship and sixth German championship overall.
In July 2011, Mannheim entered a developmental partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL.
Adler participated in the 2011 NHL Premiere series, losing to the Buffalo Sabres 8–3. The Sabres (who count among its players Mannheim native Jochen Hecht) were very well received in Mannheim, and later that season, a contingent of Adler fans traveled to Buffalo and Toronto to witness games hosted by the Sabres and Maple Leafs.
During the 2012 NHL lockout the Adler Mannheim became a popular team for the lockout-players again. The former Mannheim-players Dennis Seidenberg (Boston Bruins) and Marcel Goc (Florida Panthers) joined their former team. They were followed by Jason Pominville, captain of the Buffalo Sabres and again Jochen Hecht who was a free agent since his injury early 2012. Hecht signed a contract (with a NHL-Out paragraph) to 2014, but after the lockout came to an end he was offered a new, one-year contract by the Buffalo Sabres. After the Sabres contract expired, Hecht announced his intention to return to Mannheim to finish his professional career.
ERC Mannheimer WildCats
The female contingent of the Mannheimer ERC carries the name "Wild Cats." The most successful period in the WildCats' career was between 1988 and 1994 during which they won three German championships and vice-championships. The Wildcats did not play during the 2005–06 season after four players terminated their contracts. Therefore, they were forced to temporarily withdraw from the league.
- Galvin, Tom (2004-12-03). "Mannheim-Major Industrial City on the Neckar" (in German). Tomgalvin.com. http://www.tompgalvin.com/places/de/baden_wuerttemberg/mannheim.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-11.
- Adler Mannheim official website
- The official site of the master association, Mannheimer ERC (also link to Wild Cats homepage)
- DEL Homepage
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