NHL Deutsch’s Stefan Herget spoke with Red Wings prospect Moritz Seider regarding his status as Seider skates with Adler Mannheim of the DEL, preparing for a November 1st opening of the German professional league’s ice hockey season. What follows is fairly faithfully translated from German:
Seider works hard in Mannheim for his NHL dream
The Detroit Red Wings junior player was officially loaned to the Eagles by his team
Due to the later start of the 2020-21 NHL season, NHL teams have loaned out some of their European players under contract, specifically younger players, to teams in Europe, in order to provide them with games and practices at earlier stages. In this weekly series, NHL.com/de will report on each of these players as they bridge their time before the start of the upcoming NHL season. Today’s subject is Moritz Seider.
Moritz Seider is visibly happy. For over four weeks, he’s been able to stay fit and skate on the ice of the SAP Arena, initially in small groups, and recently with the entire Adler Mannheim team. The loan deal negotiated between Mannheim and the Detroit Red Wings this past August makes it possible for Seider to belong to the Adler team, where he played and won the German championship in 2019, at just 18 years of age.
The point of the decision is clear. The season in North America was interrupted on March 12th due to concerns about the coronavirus, and eventually stopped in the American Hockey League, where Seider was playing this past season, as well. After his employer, the Detroit Red Wings, didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup qualification on August 1st due to heir last-in-the-NHL record, Seider’s summer vacation began exceptionally early.
The young German’s goal for the upcoming season is clear, and so his motto is to get through this unusual time as creatively as possible: to effectively prepare for the upcoming season’s tasks during the long summer break, and specifically, to skate in groups or work in the gym when the risks of infection were still concerning teams.
Seider faced this challenge professionally, and he made the best of the situation. Early on, he spoke about this summer as the most important of his NHL career, and he did so in order to work intensively on improving his game and making the long-dreamed-for leap up to the NHL during the Red Wings’ training camp before the upcoming season.
“Anyway, that’s the big goal,” said Seider in a telephone interview on Saturday. He emphasized his ambitions to play for the Red Wings this upcoming season. “I’m working hard for that now. I want to be on the ice for the first game of Detroit’s regular season, and then hopefully I will play my first season in the NHL.”
Last year, when the newly-crowned German champion came to North America after a season with Adler, Seider made a good impression during Detroit’s training camp, but he was, not surprisingly, sent to the farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, during the last round of cuts. He spent the entire season there, until its cancellation. In 49 AHL games, he registered 22 points (2 goals and 20 assists), and was reportedly going to be recalled for his NHL debut before the season was interrupted last March. Detroit’s general manager, Steve Yzerman, wanted to carefully build up his defense when he picked Seider 6th overall in the first round of the 2019 NHL draft.
It explains why Detroit was actively seeking a loan agreement with Mannheim that affords Seider effective preparation for the upcoming season. “It was a necessary thing because I wouldn’t have been insured if I went on the ice with Adler,” says Seider. “That’s why we had some conversations and the thought came up, that if the DEL should restart before the beginning of the new NHL season, that I would get some appropriate practices and games, and stay fit with Adler on the ice. All parties came along to work out a loan agreement that would do justice and allow me to train with the Eagles.”
Since the start of the DEL season has been postponed to November 13th, and the Canadian Hockey League to November 17th, with the start of the NHL season planned for December 1st, Seider should be able to gain a little less practice time than was initially believed.
“Realistically, it’s rather difficult to believe that I’ll still take part in games under competitive conditions,” he says. “However, you never know what will happen in the coming weeks or months. I think it’s rather unlikely that I’ll play in the DEL or CHL.
Seider didn’t plan to play in Switzerland or Austria, where the regular seasons will begin at the start of October or end of September. He’d rather stay in a familiar area. There are other aspects that play a role in his decision.
“Those options were out of the question, because it would have been difficult to find a spot in Switzerland due to the limited number of foreigners,” Seider explains. “There are hardly any teams that would sign foreign players for a short period of time, and sacrifice an important roster spot. Mannheim was therefore the logical option.”
Adler GM Jan-Axel Alavaara is also happy that Seider is back, even if it’s only for a short time. “Moritz finds the perfect situations with us to keep him fit and hopefully to gain some game situations in practice. Of course, we also benefit from this as a team, when we have such a strong talented and young German player at our disposal.”
The contract stipulates that Seider can be recalled back by the Red Wings at any time, as deputy GM Ryan Martin explained to the Detroit Free Press. “We believe he’s in good hands there, and he can practice on the ice with Mannheim,” said Martin, highlighting the positive aspects of the collaboration.
Of course, Seider has some homework to do, as he admits. he knows that there is a lot of hard work ahead of him in order to fulfill his dream of becoming an established NHL player in the future.
“My main focus this summer was to build up more strength and get more power in my legs, in order to start a little faster when skating,” explains Seider. “We’re doing really well at the moment and I’ve worked out a good training plan between Adler and the Red Wings. The summer practices are going great in this regard, and it’s not over yet.”