International Ice Hockey Federation

Pietta tabs 10-year deal

Pietta tabs 10-year deal

Longest European contract ever signed in Germany

Published 19.01.2015 12:20 GMT+1 | Author Martin Merk
Pietta tabs 10-year deal
Daniel Pietta has played in every IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for Germany since his premiere in 2012. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
German national team forward Daniel Pietta signed a record-breaking 10-year contract with his hometown team Krefeld Pinguine of the German DEL.

It’s the longest contract ever signed by a hockey player outside of the NHL and it’s believed to be the longest contract signed by a professional player in any team sport in Europe.

Pietta will be 38 years old once the contract expires in 2025. The longest active contract of a hockey player is Shea Weber’s 14-year deal running through 2026 with the Nashville Predators while Alexander Ovechkin’s contract is for 13 years until 2021. Ilya Kovalchuk even signed a 15-year deal in 2010 but decided to retire from NHL play in 2013 to return to his Russian team SKA St. Petersburg.

Such long contracts are less common in Europe than they are in North American team sports. Pietta’s contract even runs longer than the ones of European football stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale, who are currently playing under six-year contracts.

“The Pinguine are the team of my heart. I’ve always played for Krefeld and it’s here where I want to end my career. That has always been my goal,” Pietta said according to when he announced his extension during the first intermission of his team’s home game against the Hamburg Freezers.

“I have great confidence in the management that they do not only secure the continuation of the team in the DEL but that they will also make sure we’ll have good teams with which I can achieve something. (To win) a championship with Krefeld is my dream.”

Pietta, who played his first DEL game as a 16-year-old, has spent his entire junior and senior career in Krefeld apart from one season in which he was loaned to second-tier team Duisburg. After the loan spell he had his first full season in the DEL as a 19-year-old and became one of the top forwards over the years. He was his team’s scoring leader in 2012 and leads his team in scoring in the current season with 11 goals and 31 assists in 40 games.

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Only one German player in the league, the Nuremberg Ice Tigers’ Patrick Reimer (21+24=45), has collected more points than Pietta.

Internationally Pietta was late bloomer at the senior level. After playing two U18 and one U20 World Championship Division I tournament for Germany in his junior years, Pietta played his first IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for Germany in 2012 as a 25-year-old. He also represented Germany in the 2013 and 2014 World Championships and in the 2013 Final Olympic Qualification.

With Pietta, Krefeld Pinguine managed to lock in one of their greatest role models and fan favourites in the “silk city” despite rumours about a possible relocation due to difficult negotiations on the arena lease.

“That’s why it is important to send a clear message to call upon the city and the responsible people. I hope there will be an agreement soon in favour of ice hockey in Krefeld,” Pietta said.

Pietta appeared in 62 international games scoring three goals and 14 points but has yet to score his first goal in an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. He may get his next chance in spring during the 2014 Worlds in the Czech Republic.

He played 533 DEL games for Krefeld with 127 goals and 371 points to his account. With Krefeld Pietta also played in this season’s Champions Hockey League notching four points (1+3) in five games.

Pietta’s contract announcement drew loud cheering among the fans during the game on Friday, and Pietta himself got right to work. In overtime he took his own rebound and passed to Marcel Muller, who then scored the game-winning goal against the Hamburg Freezers, a big point for the team as it battles to reach one of the ten play-off spots. Krefeld Pinguine is currentl ranked in 11th position, one point behind Kolner Haie.


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