The current flight chaos has not passed the polar bears by either. Peter John Lee, who as deputy chairman of the supervisory board is no longer involved in day-to-day business as intensively as he used to be, but still hardly misses a training session, returned five days late from his vacation in Canada. Sports director Stéphane Richer is still waiting for a piece of luggage that went missing on a flight to the United States.
At least all the foreign professionals arrived in time, so coach Serge Aubin was able to gather his new team around him for the first time on Thursday. A public training session will take place on Monday at 6 p.m.
Leo Pföderl, who had to take it easy all summer after an inflammation of the pubic bone and a painful injury to his ankle, still watched his colleagues, who had to switch to the figure skating hall because there was still no ice in the Corrugated Iron Palace. “I can’t yet make a prediction as to when I’ll be able to go back on the ice,” says the striker. In addition, three young professionals were missing with the new goalkeeper Nikita Quapp, Korbinian Geibel and Bennet Roßmy because they are playing the World Cup in Canada with the U20 national team.
“I liked the first impression today,” says Aubin, “It’s nice that the boys are all together again.” With the exception of Quapp, all the players who are new to the team were able to introduce themselves accordingly. Center forward Peter Regin, for example, who played for Ambrí-Piotta in the Swiss league last year. Previously, he was under contract with Jokerit Helsinki for many years. He played 254 games in the NHL.
Regin can confidently be called the successor to Frans Nielsen. Both are from Herning in Denmark. Nielsen, 38, who ended his career after winning the championship with the polar bears and reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup, advised his friend, who is two years his junior, to move to Berlin. “We spent a lot of time together in the summer,” says Regin, “and he never got tired of telling us how great it is here.”
And everything fits together as a family. “Now, for the first time in 17 years, I live relatively close to my home. The grandparents can come over to take care of our child.”
For the polar bears, Regin fitted exactly into the prey scheme. “You need experienced players like that who show the young players the way and demonstrate how to act as a professional,” says Aubin. “I think we already have a very good mix.” It will be exciting to see how the duel or three-way battle between Tobias Ancicka, 21, Juho Markkanen, 20, and Quapp, 19, develops in goal.
“We have good depth in all positions. Our goalies are young but very talented, they want to make a mark. It will be a task for the whole team to do a good job in front of them,” said Aubin.
From next week there will be an opportunity to really get to know each other outside of the ice. The polar bears then set out for the Dolomiten Cup in South Tyrol and then tested in Austria. It’s almost two weeks away. Hopefully there will be no travel strains, as some have experienced.