Date R Home vs Away -
01/16 18:00 43 [14] Bietigheim Steelers vs Straubing Tigers [8] 2-6
01/16 16:00 43 [3] Adler Mannheim vs Eisbären Berlin [1] 3-2
01/16 15:30 37 [14] Schwenninger Wild Wings vs Augsburger Panther [11] 3-0
01/16 15:30 43 [4] EHC München vs Krefeld Pinguine [12] 5-1
01/16 15:30 43 Schwenninger Wild Wings vs ERC Ingolstadt PPT.
01/16 15:30 43 [6] Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven vs Grizzlys Wolfsburg [2] 2-5
01/16 13:00 43 Iserlohn Roosters vs Augsburger Panther PPT.
01/16 13:00 43 [9] Kolner Haie vs Dusseldorfer EG [10] 0-3
01/14 18:30 42 ERC Ingolstadt vs Adler Mannheim PPT.
01/14 18:30 42 [12] Augsburger Panther vs Bietigheim Steelers [11] 3-1
01/14 18:30 42 [1] Eisbären Berlin vs EHC München [5] 2-3
01/14 18:30 42 Grizzlys Wolfsburg vs Iserlohn Roosters PPT.

The Deutsche Eishockey Liga (for sponsorship reasons called "PENNY Deutsche Eishockey Liga") (German pronunciation: [ˌdɔʏtʃə ˈʔaɪshɔkiː ˌliːɡaː]; English: German Ice Hockey League) or DEL, is a German professional ice hockey league. Founded in 1994, it was formed as a replacement for the Eishockey-Bundesliga and became the new top-tier league in Germany as a result. Unlike the old Bundesliga, the DEL is not under the administration of the German Ice Hockey Federation.

In the 2016–17 season, the league was the second-best supported in Europe, behind the Swiss National League A, with an average attendance of 6,198 spectators per game. Kölner Haie, Düsseldorfer EG and Eisbären Berlin all regularly attract over 15,000 fans for home games. In the DEL Winter Game, similar to the NHL Winter Classic, Cologne and Düsseldorf have played in front of crowds in excess of 40,000, notably in 2019 as Düsseldorf won in the RheinEnergieStadion.

The DEL is known for having a great game-day atmosphere with a few large modern arenas and other older, smaller venues. The German top flight is also known for producing NHL talents including Dominik Kahun from Red Bull München. Many of the German national team that took silver at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang played in the DEL, while Red Bull München became the first German team to reach the Champions Hockey League final in 2019, losing to Frölunda HC. Ice hockey is growing as a sport in Germany and is seen as a popular alternative to football or handball.

A new system of promotion and relegation with the DEL2 is set to begin with the 2021–22 season, in which the last-placed DEL club will be replaced by the DEL2 champions.


The Eishockey-Bundesliga was formed in 1957 as the elite hockey competition in the Federal Republic of Germany, replacing the Oberliga in this position. It was in turn replaced by the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, which now also carries the name 1st Bundesliga in its logo.

The DEL was founded in the 1994–95 season, consisting of teams from the Eishockey-Bundesliga's 1st and 2nd divisions. The condition of these earlier leagues had become intolerable. Many 1st and 2nd division teams were heavily in debt. The 2nd division attracted few sponsors and spectators. As a result, many clubs were forced to fold or withdraw to the lower leagues. Fans and corporate sponsors focused on the 1st Bundesliga teams, forcing the elite teams to invest heavily in players to avoid relegation. This increased budgets 25 percent over the previous two years.

In the final Bundesliga season, 1993–94, only 11 teams wanted to play in the 2nd Bundesliga. Furthermore, two teams folded during and after the season. Ice hockey's reputation in Germany was heavily tarnished. This made it difficult to attract serious sponsorship. In January 1994, 20 out of the remaining 21 1st and 2nd Bundesliga teams voted for creating a new entity, the DEL.

Upon founding, the "DEL Betriebsgesellschaft mbH" was the first German professional sports league managed by an organization whose members were incorporated as well. The goal behind the DEL was to create a league, based on the model of the North American NHL, in which teams could play consistently without relegation concerns and create a stable league. Clubs in the DEL were required to conform to rules, which were designed to ensure long-term viability. Twelve clubs from the old 1st Bundesliga, and six from the 2nd Bundesliga came together as founding members. The new league immediately attracted corporate sponsorship with the Krombacher Brewery, which was prominently featured on the new league logo.

The hope of avoiding the troubles of the old Bundesliga by stricter financial controls did not materialize. During DEL's initial season, on 18 December 1994, the Bundesliga's final champion, the renamed EC Hedos München, folded. This was controversial, as DEL's president Franz Hofherr had approved their license and certified their finances. Hofherr was Mad Dogs former president and it was alleged that he must have known about their desperate financial situation.

The Bosman ruling, a 1995 decision of the European Court of Justice regarding the movement of labor in soccer, had profound influence on the league. The old Bundesliga had national character with German clubs competing for the German title using mostly German players. After the ruling European Union players were excluded from the "foreign" player quota. In the 1995–96 season following the decision, the DEL teams employed 97 EU players. This lowered costs significantly, enabling smaller teams to compete more effectively. However, frequent player moves were not viewed positively by the fans, resulting in smaller attendance numbers.

Following an agreement with the DEB the league renamed itself as "DEL – Die 1. Bundesliga" in the 1999–2000 season, while reintroducing relegation and promotion to/from the 2nd Ice Hockey Bundesliga.

The 2004–05 season was significant due to the NHL lockout. 26 NHL players came to play the season in the DEL, including Jamie Langenbrunner, Erik Cole, Stéphane Robidas, Doug Weight, Mike York and several German national team players – Jochen Hecht, Olaf Kölzig, and Marco Sturm.