Hamburg Freezers

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Hamburg Freezers
Hamburg-freezers-logo.png
City Hamburg, Germany
League Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Operated 1999–2016
Home arena Barclaycard Arena Hamburg
Colors Light Blue, Navy, White, Gray
                   
Owner(s) Anschutz Entertainment Group
Website hamburg-freezers.de
Franchise history
1999–2002 Munich Barons
2002–2016 Hamburg Freezers

The Hamburg Freezers were a German professional men's ice hockey club from Hamburg, Germany that played in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. The club announced its withdrawal from the DEL and ceased operations on May 24, 2016 when Anschutz Entertainment Group, who owned both the Freezers and Eisbären Berlin, felt it was no longer financially viable to own two teams within the same hockey league.[1][2]

The Freezers were originally known as the Munich Barons from 1999 until 2002, before team owner Philip Anschutz relocated the franchise to Hamburg for financial reasons on June 3, 2002. The club was renamed as the Hamburg Freezers. Their German nickname was Eisschränke (iceboxes).

The team's official colours were crystal blue and white and they played their home games in the Barclaycard Arena Hamburg.

Goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère suited up for the Freezers during the 2004–05 NHL lockout season. Giguère played six games for Hamburg and posted a .925 save percentage, with a goals against average of 2.39.

During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn lined up for the Freezers in 19 games, amassing 7 goals and 13 assists, earning him a player of the month award for November.

Freez1.jpg

History[edit]

The Hamburg Freezers were founded in 2002, when the Munich Barons franchise was moved to Hamburg in northern Germany. The reason for the move was due to low turnouts and financial issues; Munich Barons had an average turnout of under 3,000 spectators, even though the team were crowned league champions in 2000. Despite being the second biggest city in Germany, Hamburg had no representation in the country's top league and was chosen as the next destination for the franchise.

In their first season, the attendance average rose to over 5,000 and the team finished in 8th place, making it through to the playoff quarter finals.

In the next 10 years, attendance figures continued to grow and the average attendance in 2011–12 was over 9,200. In its final season before the clubs demise, 2015–16, the club was the fourth-best supported team in German ice hockey and the tenth-best in Europe.[3]

The club was a perennial playoff team, though never won a DEL championship.

In May 2016, team owner Philip Anschutz announced that the team would no longer be supported under his company Anschutz Entertainment Group. The Freezers were given a deadline of May 24, 2016 to find a buyer and new sponsorship, which was unable to be met, ceasing the operations of the club.[4]

Rivals[edit]

Most of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga teams are based in the south and south west of the country, meaning there are very few local rivals for Hamburg. Being the northernmost franchise in the league, the team have adopted the motto 'Der Norden Sind Wir' (We are the North). However, the Freezers do enjoy 'northern derbies' against two other franchises; Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg and Hannover Scorpions.

The team's main rivals are, unsurprisingly, the team from Germany's biggest city; Eisbaren Berlin. These games often have an extra edge to them, as fans are eager for their side to claim bragging rights.

On May 24th 2016 the club owners announced that they would not apply for a licence for the 2016/17 season, and so Philip Anschutz has the dubious honour of being the first investor to kill off 3 clubs within 20 years.

Mascot[edit]

The Hamburg Freezers mascot was Stanley the Lion, 'cousin' of Bailey the Lion of the Los Angeles Kings. Freezers' owners, Anschutz Entertainment Group, are also owners of the Kings and made the decision to replace the old yeti mascots with a lion; just like their Stanley Cup-winning team's mascot.

Season records[edit]

Season Games Won Lost Tie OTL SOL Points Goals
for
Goals
against
Rank Playoffs
2002–03 52 27 19 6 0 - 77 154 152 8 Lost in Quarterfinals
2003–04 52 32 17 0 3 - 95 151 115 3 Lost in Semifinals
2004–05 52 26 24 0 2 - 76 133 148 8 Lost in Quarterfinals
2005–06 52 29 17 - 0 6 85 144 145 6 Lost in Quarterfinals
2006–07 52 32 19 - 1 2 83 169 153 7 Lost in Quarterfinals
2007–08 56 28 20 - 1 7 87 194 171 7 Lost in Quarterfinals
2008–09 52 27 19 - 2 4 82 158 147 8 Lost in Quarterfinals
2009–10 56 20 31 - 4 1 61 162 200 14 Did Not Qualify
2010–11 52 23 21 - 3 5 69 135 161 11 Did Not Qualify
2011–12 52 28 24 - 3 2 83 149 149 5 Lost in Quarterfinals
2012–13 52 24 18 - 3 4 85 158 130 5 Lost in Quarterfinals
2013–14 52 30 13 - 5 1 102 162 116 1 Lost in Semifinals
2014–15 52 28 17 - 3 4 90 161 154 4 Lost in Quarterfinals
2015–16 52 18 22 - 3 3 72 142 166 11 Did Not Qualify

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hamburg Freezers werden keine DEL-Lizenz für die saison 2016/17 beantragen" (in German). hamburg-freezers.de. 2016-05-18. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  2. ^ "Hamburg Freezers beantragen keine DEL-Lizenz für die Saison 2016/17" (in German). hamburg-freezers.de. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  3. ^ "EUROPEAN ATTENDANCE RANKING PUBLISHED". iihf.com. International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  4. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Bid to save Hamburg Freezers DEL ice hockey team comes up short | Sports | DW.COM | 25.05.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 


External links[edit]