The Deutsche Eishockey Liga has plenty of selling points. Geographically, it puts you in the middle of Europe. Germany is a successful and stable country on the world stage.
The English language is largely based off the Germanic, and a large chunk of the German population can speak the newer, jumbled version of its tongue. Hockey-wise, among the European leagues, the DEL offers one of the most competitive environments. Able to and allowed to recruit numerous import players, the top German league leaves plenty of room for North American talent.
One of the most consistent exporters of such talent is Hockey East. Starting with Maine in 1993, Hockey East has won nine national championships. Sean Sullivan (BU), Maury Edwards (UMass Lowell), Mike Collins (Merrimack) and Tyler Kelleher (UNH) crossed paths little during their days in the conference. Sullivan, the lone member of the group born before the conference even held its first game, missed all of them. Edwards was rounding out his career with the River Hawks when Collins came in to keep Merrimack from being a flash in the pan.
Meanwhile, Kelleher battled against Collins in the latter’s last two regular-season games. Now, they are all united in Ingolstadt, Germany, and working together with one goal.