Can you decipher ckehc

A great career has just come to an end: that of Klaus Kathan.

From 1996 to 2013 he played in the DEL (933 missions), then he moved to his home club Bad Tölz, with which he celebrated relegation in the DEL2. Kathan, 41, is also looking ahead to the final of the German championship between Munich and Berlin. He played in both cities.

-Mr Kathan, was it difficult to let go of ice hockey?

No, I'm totally relaxed now. The last game was a playdown game, I was able to say goodbye when I was relegated. It all feels right. I made it through my career without any major injuries and I'm looking forward to going into the mountains, cycling and skiing.

- Were you able to consciously enjoy the game against Bayreuth - when there was a lot going on?

The first 50 minutes or so were important, and I went into it nervously. But after the 4-1 lead, the teammates made sure that it was nice.

-Looking back: where was the best place in your career? You got around well in German ice hockey as a fast striker with goal instinct and as a regular in the national team.

The four years in Düsseldorf were the best. From the environment, the team, from personal success. And I had Don Jackson as a coach for two years.

-The current coach of the EHC Munich. Düsseldorf was his first stop in Germany. And the only one where he didn't win a title.

But we were in the final. We lost that to Berlin. Don Jackson was great as a coach - and as a person as well.

-Is there a secret to his success? If you try to decipher it, you won't find anything out of the ordinary, just normality.

I have often wondered what it is that actually makes it. I mainly come to his calm and serenity. He transfers that to the team. I am now also trying a little as a coach, I joined the youth team in Tölz. It would be good to be like Don Jackson.

-The other coach in the final is Uwe Krupp. You had that in the national team.

But that was only brief, at the 2006 Olympic Games. But we weren't successful there.

-Munich was your last DEL station, from 2011 to 13. They played in Berlin from 1996 to 98. At that time the scene was completely different. Berlin had two clubs.

I was with the Capitals, the polar bears were still called Dynamo and they were their competition. We met in the playoff semifinals, that was a series! We are still on Jafféstrasse, in a really beautiful ice rink, the polar bears in their corrugated iron palace; they brought an incredible number of fans with them. We lost, back then the polar bears passed us for the first time. Until then, the West Club was always in front, first the Prussians, then they were called Devils, and finally Capitals.

-How did you fare as a young professional shortly after the Bosman ruling?

That was a difficult time, we had 15 or 16 import players in Berlin. It was difficult for the Germans. My advantage was that I was young.

-Now there is ice hockey monoculture in Berlin. There are only polar bears left.

You prevailed and a great hall.

-You experienced Munich in the days of the old and rather poor EHC, before the Red Bull takeover.

Still, it was a great time.

-Who are you in the finals for?

Munich is closer to me - especially since I played for the other club in Berlin. In Munich I still know a few people from the staff. And of course Don Jackson.

-Your tip for the series?

As a spectator or fan you want a fourth game, but I guess a 4: 1 for Munich.

The interview was conducted by Günter Klein