Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers
|Full name||Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers Nürnberg|
|Arena||Arena Nürnberger Versicherung
|League||Deutsche Eishockey Liga|
|Head coach||Peter Draisaitl|
The roots of the team can be traced back to the "SG Nürnberg", a club that played since 1958/59 in 2nd Bundesliga, that folded in spring of 1980 after years of financial trouble. Today's team was founded in 1980 as EHC Nürnberg 1980 e.V., as a non-profit organization. Play started in 1980–81 in the Bavarian state ice-hockey league (German: Eishockey-Bayernliga). After a single season, the team moved up to the Southern Regional league (German: Regionalliga Süd), and was promoted again after just one season in 1983 to the 3rd tier German Ice Hockey league (German: Oberliga Süd).
By 1987, EHC Nürnberg 1980 moved up to the 2nd Bundesliga. In the early 90's, financial uncertainty around German professional ice-hockey lead to the foundation of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga – DEL. The DEL was modeled after the NHL, with hopes of providing financial stability through licensing and franchising of teams.
EHC Nürnberg 1980 was admitted to the DEL as a founding member on June 13, 1994, one of 6 teams from the 2nd Bundesliga. As the DEL replaced the 1st Bundesliga and now represents the highest level of German professional ice-hockey, this in effect resulted in a promotion. In the first DEL season, the EHC 80 Nürnberg finished the regular season on the 12th place, only to be eliminated in the first playoff round.
For the next season, the professional team was broken out of the non-profit organization and incorporated as the Nürnberg Ice Tigers, with the youth and amateurs keeping the old name. The 1998–99 DEL season has brought the greatest success so for the Tigers; 1st place in the regular season, only to lose in the playoff finals to the Adler Mannheim, who dominated German Ice Hockey in the late 1990s.
In 2006, the Ice Tigers and Bionorica AG, signed a three-year agreement giving Bionorica the naming rights to the team. Starting with the 2006–07 DEL season, the team was renamed to Sinupret Ice Tigers, after a Bionorica product.
During the 2008–09 season it became obvious that the Ice Tigers were in a dire financial situation. On November 25, 2008, preliminary insolvency was filed and on December 30, 2008, declared. This led to the corporate sponsor Bionorica pulling their support in March 2009. An investor group led by local jeweler Thomas Sabo intervened on April 3, 2009, pre-empting bankruptcy proceedings and ensuring participation in the 2009–10 season. The team is now known as the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers.
Updated January 16, 2015.
- 1994–95: Jozef Golonka
- 1995–97: Jan Eysselt
- 1997–98: Vladimir Vasiliev
- 1998–00: Peter Ihnačák
- 2000–02: Bob Murdoch
- 2002–03: Mike Schmidt
- 2003–05: Greg Poss
- 2005–08: Benoît Laporte
- 2008–09: Andreas Brockmann
- The most DEL games for the club: 492 Martin Jiranek
- The most DEL goals for the club: 173 Martin Jiranek
- The most DEL penalty minutes for the club: 576 John Craighead