It is less than a month since the end of the DEL (German Ice Hockey League) play-offs and what should have been a smooth summer of recruiting and improving the squad, has already been a roller-coaster ride for EHC München fans. Several key players were re-signed and new talent added to the roster. A bright future seemed secure before rumours of one of the owners withdrawing and a severe drop in major sponsorship deals meant that the licence to play in the DEL could be sold to bitter rivals Schwenningen or Landshut. This would also likely spell the end for EHC München as a franchise.
The rumours gathered pace and official announcements were made saying that one option was indeed to sell the prized DEL licence. Deadlines came and worryingly passed. Wherever EHC looked for support, the door was slammed firmly shut. For a city that was recently bidding to stage the 2018 Winter Olympics, it seemed strange that the city would turn their back on the local ice hockey club and not want top-flight hockey in the city. After 11 years of working hard to breakthrough into the DEL, to only survive for 2 seasons would have been heartbreak for all EHC fans.
As time elapsed, loyal fans had lost all hope of survival and were already looking at the possibility of setting up a new starter club in the lower regions of the German league system. The final deadline was set when news filtered through that the club had amazingly been saved with sponsor Red Bull coming on board.
Fantastic news for all the fans who still haven't come down from the high knowing that the club is safe for another season.
Although the deal is only currently for the 2012/13 season, with a premier partner like Red Bull and its marketing genius, surely the club can only kick on from here and go from strength to strength which in turn will hopefully mean a financially stable club which Red Bull will continue to promote and support. The short term future is now secure and with the backbone of the team in place with the leagues top net-minder, Jochen Reimer, again between the pipes, key d-men Johan Ejdepalm and Felix Petermann along with local favourite Martin Buchwieser leading the forwards, the managerial team can continue their recruitment for a hopefully successful campaign.
Pre-season friendlies are due to start in August at the Olympic Ice Stadium, so come along and support your local team - EHC Red Bull München!!