VIENNA – The Austrian Ice Hockey Federation (ÖEHV) celebrated its 100-year anniversary last week in the town hall of Vienna.
Organized ice hockey started in Austria on the 14th and 15th January 1912. Two months later the Austrian federation received full membership within the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
Nearly 200 guests – from IIHF Member National Associations to sponsors to former ice hockey players – were invited to celebrate the history of Austrian ice hockey. Supported by national broadcaster ORF, the publishing company “Echo” and the Museum for Winter Sports in Mürzzuschlag, the three-and-a-half-hour long celebrations were a great success.
Speeches were held throughout the whole evening like the one of Dr Dieter Kalt, President of the Austrian federation, in which he recalled how he started to play ice hockey in 1951 and how the game has changed up to the present. A special memory was playing the final in the European Championship against CSKA Moscow with players like Vladislav Tretiak, the current President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation who was in attendance. The IIHF was represented by its Life Members Dr Hans Dobida, who is also Honorary President of the Austrian federation, and Kai Hietarinta.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Austrian Centennial Team and the Centennial Player. Following players were elected by a group of experts:
Reinhard Divis (award presented by Vladislav Tretiak): first Austrian to play a game in the National Hockey League (April 7th 2002).
Martin Ulrich (award presented by Luc Tardif, President of the French Ice Hockey Federation): most games for Team Austria (228).
Herbert Hohenberger (award presented by Dr Ludek Bukac, former head coach of the Austrian national team and world champion with the Czech Republic): won championships with Hull Olympiques (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), VSV Villach (Austria) and Kölner Haie (Germany).
Christoph Brandner (award presented by Gernot Tripcke, manager of the German league DEL): first Austrian to score a goal in the National Hockey League (October 8th 2003) and best player of the DEL 2002/03.
Dieter Kalt jun. (award presented by Christer Englund, IIHF Council Member, President of the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation): won championships with KAC Klagenfurt (Austria), Adler Mannheim (Germany), Färjestads BK (Sweden), Vienna Capitals (Austria) and Red Bull Salzburg (Austria). In 2002 he had the most points by a foreign player in the Swedish Elitserien.
Thomas Vanek (award presented by Tomas Kral, President of the Czech Ice Hockey Federation): most games (547) by an Austrian player in the National Hockey League. Won the college title with Minnesota in 2003 and was the best player in the “Frozen Four”. Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in fifth position overall in 2003. Won the “Bud Light Award” for the best plus/minus-rating (+47) in the NHL in 2006/07.
Josef “Sepp” Puschnig: only Austrian player to be elected into the IIHF Hall of Fame. Unfortunately he couldn’t attend the ceremony due to a stay abroad.