What emotions club loyalty with ice hockey fans can trigger: The
Nuremberg Ice Tigers honor record player Steven Reinprecht – and receive Yasin
Ehliz, who runs for Munich now.

Steven Reinprecht had his problems with the notes that lay on the desk in front of him. Again and again they threatened to fling him away, he had to catch her like a spinning disc that does not want to stick to the face. Reinprecht smiled as he tried to keep the notes in check. "It's much easier to play ice hockey in a sold-out hall than to give a speech," he said, giving a very special speech. Almost 8,000 people listened to the words of the 42-year-old Canadian, who has not been an ice hockey pro since May. Then they looked up with him and his family, whom he hugged very tightly, and watched as his jersey number 28 was pulled under the hall roof.

The Friday evening was a highly emotional one for the Nuremberg ice hockey. Ice Tigers CEO Wolfgang Gastner called him "historic" when he listed Reinprecht's merits. 313 times the striker had worn the jersey of the Franks, 330 scorer points reach him between 2012 and 2018 therein. Not only in Nuremberg was his name synonymous with elegance, culture and sportsmanship. "No question," said Don Jackson, the most successful coach in the history of the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), "he was one of the elite and I take my hat off to him." In the stands some of them shed a few tears when Reinprecht reviewed his time in Nuremberg. It was particularly emotional when he told what had happened in the car the day she returned to Nuremberg. His wife Sarah said there to be back in Nuremberg, feels like home. Daughter Mette corrected her promptly: Mama, she said, that's home.

Only once did whistles occur during Reinprecht's speech – and that was related to the second person, who made this Nuremberg ice hockey evening even more emotional than he already was. Reinprecht thanked his family, Thomas Sabo, Patrick Reimer – and Yasin Ehliz. This was only a few meters away, but not in an Ice Tigers jersey, but in the dress of the EHC Red Bull Munich. After his move to the German champions he returned on Friday for the first time as an opponent to Nuremberg – and got the full load of displeasure. Oliver Mebus put it in a nutshell: "That was a very, very emotional box today," said the Nuremberg defender, "and we were able to channel our emotions properly." The Ice Tigers defeated since the start of the season 4: 1, although they had lagged 0: 1,

"Yasin has to go through, unfortunately," says Nuremberg captain Reimer

For Ehliz the evening was a gauntlet. When Reinprecht left the ice before playing with his family, Ehliz waved to the two children. He smiled, as he had a few minutes earlier, when Reinprecht thanked Ehliz and Reimer in his acceptance speech, who had been his roster colleagues for years. These two moments should be the only beautiful of the evening for Ehliz. Every time he got on the ice, he was mercilessly booed. In the end he had not only lost the game together with his EHC colleagues, but remained in that hall where he had played for almost eight years, also in his eighth DEL match for Munich without scorer point.

The Nürnberger Kurve scolded him with chants, that went too far for Patrick Reimer. Nuremberg's captain was able to understand the emotions and disappointment of the fans, but he condemned those songs. "It does not have to be," he said. In the final third, as the Nuremberg victory became more and more apparent, "Without Reino, the Ehliz nix" cane echoed through the arena. Reino is Reinprecht's nickname. After closing time, the Nuremberg fans unrolled a last of many banners, "characterless mercenary" was read on it. He was cheered on by some of his ex-teammates, then he waved to the Munich fans and scurried into the guest cabin. The last he saw on the ice was a paperboard cardboard box that flew toward him from the bleachers, narrowly missing him. "Yasin has to go through, unfortunately," said Reimer, who embraced him warmly on his farewell on the ice. "But that will only make him stronger."

Shortly after Ehliz had disappeared into the catacombs, the Ice Tigers players returned to the ice for the lap of honor. In the middle of them in an elegant tailored suit: Steven Reinprecht. Together with his ex-teammates, he knelt before the curve and celebrated with the fans, who can now look at his jersey at every home game. On returning to the cabin, Reimer smiled and said, "We felt the spirit of Reino."



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