Former NHL Player Christian Ehrhoff returns to the ice at age 41Comeback to his home clubChristian Ehrhoff. (picture alliance/Fishing4)
Christian Erhoff will return to the ice and make his comeback after five years, having played his last competitive game for Cologne in the DEL in 2018. The Moers native previously played twelve years in the NHL and can look back on 862 games in the world's best hockey league. He also won the silver medal at the 2018 Olympics with the German national team and is a member of the German Ice Hockey Hall of Fame. In the second highest german league (DEL2) he has never played.
Krefeld was relegated for the 2022-23 season from the first division and lost in the playoffs this season in the semifinal of the DEL2 playoffs. With Christian Erhoff back the club will try to earn promotion and get back to the top division in Germany.
Christian Erhoff will play for his home club similar to NHL legend Jaromir Jagr. Jagr even owns his club Rytíři Kladno and plays in the Czech Republic's first league at the age of 51.
Christian Ehrhoff: "The fire was rekindled"
Krefelds General Manager Peer Schopp: "It is an incredible but successful surprise and a milestone in the sporting orientation of our squad for the upcoming season. Christian Ehrhoff is a Krefeld identification figure. After he approached us and made his motivation clear, there is no doubt in both the club management and the sporting management that he will be an absolute leader in our lineup. Christian is well aware that a successful comeback will not be a foregone conclusion. However, we have full confidence that he will be in top shape by the start of the season and that we will then have one of the best DEL2 defensemen in our ranks who will put his heart and soul into his home town of Krefeld."
Sporting Director Peter Draisaitl: "After the initiative came from Christian Ehrhoff and he clearly and realistically described to us how he envisions his way back on the ice, there is no argument not to try. The coaching staff and I expect Christian to work hard in the next few weeks so that he can perform physically at the highest level at the start of the season. He is aware of that and we will do everything in our power to make sure he can perform at his peak. However, with all the work ahead of us, the joy and anticipation of being able to work with Christian outweigh the work. It's a good signal for the location when deserving players who identify with the club get so involved."
Christian Ehrhoff: "I made the decision to return from retirement over the last few weeks after careful consideration. After Adrian Grygiel's farewell in the playoffs and the emotional games I witnessed here live in the arena, the fire was rekindled in me and I sought the conversation with my family. After I got their "go" I approached Peer Schopp and the sporting management with my idea. We quickly agreed that, despite all the conviction, we could only benefit from my comeback with hard work. To this end, I am ready and eager to feel the unique Krefeld fans, the atmosphere from the North and the backdrop in the arena back on the ice."