EHC Freiburg was one of headline grabbers in this year’s DEL2. A team that typically battled against relegation stormed up the table to finish third in the regular season – its best placing since the franchise’s solitary top-flight campaign in 2003/04. And much of that success was credited to Pete Russell as the Team GB head coach picked up plenty of plaudits in his first year working outside the UK.
Russell, 45, won the coach of the year award, a further boost to a reputation polished by back-to-back promotions in IIHF competition as the Brits reached the Elite Pool. The move to Germany gave the Scot a chance to test himself in a new environment, tempting him away from the Glasgow Clan in Britain’s Elite League.