Tim Stützle and the German national ice hockey team have been a difficult relationship so far.

The 20-year-old from Tönisvorst is considered the greatest offensive talent since Leon Draisaitl, and yet until a few days ago he had never played for the men's selection of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB).

The World Cup was canceled in 2020, Stützle was injured in 2021, and he was not allowed to attend the Olympics this February because the North American elite league NHL did not release its staff.

All those involved were all the more happy that Stützle would now be able to play at the World Cup in Finland, he was regarded as the beacon of hope in attack.

However, after injuring his knee in the third game against France, the centre-forward has already sat out against Denmark and Italy.

Now before the game this Sunday against Kazakhstan, the DEB announced what everyone had already suspected: Stütze will no longer play, he is leaving Helsinki this Monday.

Stützle and an NHL physical therapist

Although his knee injury will "heal quickly and completely," said DEB sports director Christian Künast, "after consulting our medical department and the Ottawa Senators, we still decided to take him out of the tournament."

Which again clearly showed who is in charge in the ice hockey world: It was above all Stützle's employer from Ottawa who gave the thumbs down.

His physiotherapist Domenic Nicoletta is also in Helsinki, where he is responsible for the Canadian team.

So, according to Canadian media, he met with Stützle and examined him.

After that, the expected decision was made to take the German out of the tournament.

NHL teams don't like it anyway when their highly paid employees stick their bones out for others, especially someone like Stützle, who is predicted to have a great career.

In his first two NHL seasons, the man from the Lower Rhine scored 34 goals and prepared another 53.

The DEB has no choice but to accept that.

Stützle and the national team, it remains difficult.