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Coach Joshua Mezrick will leave the Hammer Izberian Ice Hockey League

Coach Joshua Mezrick will leave the Hammer Izberian Ice Hockey League

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from: Peter Schwenker

American Joshua Mizerek returns home to the United States as a coach and takes over the U16 of the NHL club Seattle Kraken. © Robert Shkodlark

American Joshua Mizerek, the successful coach of the first division of ice hockey Hammer Eisbären, has set an exit clause and the U16 team will take over from the NHL club Seattle Kraken from the summer.

Important – in fact, the coaching position in the Hammer Eisbären ice hockey league for the upcoming season was filled in the third highest category in Germany. American Joshua Mezrick, who took over from the hapless Canadian Jeff Job in November, and the club had already agreed to continue working together. But the Hammers now have to look for a new coach. Since Mizerek will return to the USA, he will work in the junior division of NHL club Seattle Kraken from the summer.

The decision came as a surprise

The decision, which also came as a surprise to Ibrahim Weissleder, but was met with the understanding of the Polar Bears’ sporting director. “Josh had a release clause in his contract stating that he could definitely switch if he got a good offer from his country of origin. Weißleder, who worked very well with the coach over the five months at Hamm, confirmed that he has now withdrawn that opt-out clause. Weißleder confirms that “A real friendship has also developed in the process.” And those in charge of the Hummer don’t want to put stones in the path of the 45-year-old coach. “For Josh, this is a unique opportunity to work as a coach in an organization as big as the NHL.” The National Hockey League sees itself as The best hockey league in the world.

Mizerek is already in Seattle

The Seattle Kraken was only incorporated in 2018 and is the 32nd team to play in the NHL since the 2021/22 season. German goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer is currently part of the Kraken team. Mizerek will coach the Kraken U16s in Seattle. He is already in Seattle to organize his move from Eindhoven, Netherlands, to the United States.

The coach can certainly look at Hamm’s successful time. After Hammer Eisbären crashed bottom of the table in the Oberliga for two years, the American began a sporting revival in Werries with the successful collaboration with Weißleder after parting ways with Jeff Job. “We are very grateful to Josh for the job he’s put in. He’s been able to tap the real potential from the team and lift us to a higher level on the field,” Weissleder praised the outgoing coach’s commitment. After all, Mizerek has won 17 of 37 competitive matches with the Polar Bears, guiding the team from bottom of the table to ninth into the pre-season playoffs. However, the Hammers failed there due to the Duisburg Foxes.

Interviews with candidates

For Weißleder, who made the decision in the middle of planning the next Oberliga season, it is now a matter of finding a suitable successor as quickly as possible. As confirmed by the sporting director, promising talks are already underway with potential candidates. Weißlerer was firmly convinced that he would soon be able to offer a successor to Miserick.

“We want to set the course as soon as possible this year, and on the whole we have a lineup for next season in place by summer,” confirms Weißleder, who wants to strengthen the squad with a few newcomers. According to the sporting director, very promising negotiations are already underway here.