Munich / Mannheim (dpa) - Yannic Seidenberg knows how to party. After the Olympic silver triumph in South Korea, the ice hockey professional stood at one point with bare-chested and beer in hand next to noble fan Lindsey Vonn.

Even at the Munich master parties, the veteran was never the first to go home. His achievements on the ice gave the now 36-year-old every reason to celebrate. Seidenberg has been a major player in German ice hockey for many years. On Tuesday evening, he joins an elite circle: he is the only sixth player to reach the mark of 1000 games in the DEL.

"Hats off," said soccer star and ice hockey fan Thomas Müller on the homepage of Seidenberg's EHC Red Bull Munich, and fooled around in his typical way: "I know from my own experience: 1000 league games are not just made that way." As a footballer you can't make 1000 games in the Bundesliga - record player Charly Körbel has 602 games.

Seidenberg almost never landed on the ice. "When I started, I actually wanted to stop right away," said the 36-year-old to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" last. It was only after scoring a few goals, "at around eight or nine," that he decided to become a professional. "I wrote that in all these friendship books that you pass around at school."

And so it happened. Alongside his brother Dennis, who later made a career in the NHL and won the Stanley Cup in 2011, Seidenberg made his debut in the DEL in 2001 with the Adler Mannheim team. So it is a good thing that he is visiting Mannheim at his 1,000th game in the evening (7.30pm) with Munich. "Cool thing," said the three-time family man about the special return.

That Seidenberg moves into the 1000 group with Mirko Lüdemann (1199), Daniel Kreutzer (1066), Niki Mondt (1060), Patrick Köppchen (1026) and Sebastian Furchner (1024) is also a success of will and perseverance. Several injuries and seven knee operations did not stop Seidenberg over the years.

Because he is only 172 centimeters tall, he was denied an NHL career. For this he has a trophy hanging at home that only a few could win even in the elite league: an Olympic medal. With the German selection, he sensationally reached the final in Pyeongchang in 2018 and was part of a team that enchanted the whole of Germany. Those moments of happiness that "I'll never forget," he said.

The veteran is not yet thinking about quitting and has a specific goal: he still wants to play in the new Munich multifunctional hall, which is scheduled for completion in 2022. Maybe Lüdemann's record will even shake. Seidenberg would know how to celebrate that.

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Preliminary report on the Red Bull Munich homepage

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