1996–97 DEL season
|1996–97 Deutsche Eishockey Liga season|
|League||Deutsche Eishockey Liga|
|Number of teams||16|
|Season champions||Adler Mannheim|
The 1996–97 Deutsche Eishockey Liga season was the 3rd season of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (English: German Ice Hockey League).
Adler Mannheim became the DEL Champion, winning a German title for the second time in their history. Both the Ratinger Löwen and Wedemark Scorpions earned their keep in the league playing against 1st League EHC Neuwied and TSV Erding.
The Bosman ruling, a 1995 decision of the European Court of Justice regarding the movement of labor in soccer, had profound influence on the league. The old Bundesliga had national character: German clubs competing for the German title with mostly German players. After the ruling European Union players were excluded from the "foreign" player quota. Within a year, the DEL teams employed 97 EU players and lowered their costs significantly, enabling the smaller teams to compete more effectively. The frequent player moves were not viewed positively by the fans.
Another visible change for the fans was the change in corporate sponsorship. The Krombacher Brewery ended their agreement with the league, resulting in a change in the league logo design. The league would not have a corporate sponsor again until 2003, when the German Yellow Pages (German: Gelbe Seiten) signed two consecutive 3-year agreements.
The mode of play changed for this season. In the first round, all teams played one home and one away game with each other for a total of 30 rounds. The first 6 placed teams continued playing for the playoff placements German: Meisterrunde), and the teams 7-16 played to against relegation/playdowns (German: Relegationsrunde), with only the 2 bestplaced teams in this group being eligible for playoffs.
|5.||EHC Eisbären Berlin||30||18||3||9||0||118:91||39|
|6.||Star Bulls Rosenheim||30||16||2||12||3||111:113||37|
|11.||Schwenninger ERC Wild Wings||30||13||1||16||3||114:128||30|
|14.||Wedemark Scorpions (N)||30||8||1||21||2||95:134||19|
|15.||Nürnberg Ice Tigers||30||5||3||22||0||90:148||13|
= Continue play for playoff spots, = Continue play against relegation
Phase II - "Meisterrunde"
|4.||EHC Eisbären Berlin||50||26||4||20||1||177:163||57|
|6.||Star Bulls Rosenheim||50||20||2||28||5||171:209||47|
Phase II - "Relegationsrunde"
The first two placed teams qualified for the playoff spots 7 and 8.
|4.||Schwenninger ERC Wild Wings||48||23||1||24||5||200:191||52|
|9.||Nürnberg Ice Tigers||48||9||6||33||1||149:229||25|
Color code: = Playoff = Playdowns
The first round was played in the best-of-seven mode.
|Düsseldorfer EG||-||Ratinger Löwen||4:0||5:1||5:3||2:0||6:2||–||–||–|
|Schwenninger Wild Wings||-||Nürnberg Ice Tigers||4:1||4:1||2:3||6:1||5:3||11:3||–||–|
|Augsburger Panther||-||Wedemark Scorpions||4:0||7:1||2:1||5:4||5:3||–||–||–|
|Frankfurt Lions||-||Kaufbeurer Adler||2:4||3:2||3:6||4:3||3:6||2:5||1:4||–|
The second round was played in a best-of-five mode.
|Wedemark Scorpions||-||Nürnberg Ice Tigers||1:3||4:6||4:6||5:2||2:5||–|
|Frankfurt Lions||-||Ratinger Löwen||3:0||6:1||5:4||5:3||–||–|
Wedemark Scorpions (now known as Hannover Scorpions) and Ratinger Löwen (English: Ratinger Lions) had to play against the first two placed teams of the second league.
The relegation round was played in a best-of-three mode.
|EHC Neuwied||-||Ratinger Löwen||0:2||2:4||3:10||–|
|Wedemark Scorpions||-||TSV Erding||2:0||10:2||9:5||–|
All playoff rounds were played in as a best-of-five series, with the better placed team playing Home-Away-Home-Away-Home.
|5||EHC Eisbären Berlin||1|
|5||EHC Eisbären Berlin||3|
|Adler Mannheim||-||Krefeld Pinguine||3:0||4:1||4:1||8:4||–||–|
|Kölner Haie||-||EV Landshut||1:3||6:3||3:4||2:4||1:3||–|
|Kassel Huskies||-||Starbulls Rosenheim||3:0||6:1||4:1||5:4||–||–|
|EHC Eisbären Berlin||-||Berlin Capitals||3:1||4:3||3:4||5:0||4:1||–|
|Adler Mannheim||-||EV Landshut||3:0||7:5||2:4||4:3||–||–|
|Kassel Huskies||-||EHC Eisbären Berlin||3:1||4:2||4:5||6:3||3:1||–|
|Adler Mannheim||-||Kassel Huskies||3:0||5:4||5:2||4:2||–||–|
With the last game, the Adler Mannheim became first time DEL Champion and won the German Champion title for the 2nd 8th time in the club history.
|Points||Bruno Zarrillo||Kölner Haie||74 Points|
|Goals||Chris Lindberg||Krefeld Pinguine||37 Goals|
|Goalie||Mike Rosati||Adler Mannheim||2.35 Goals-against-average|
|Defense||Gordon Hynes||Schwenninger Wild Wings||56 Points|