$EBR If you have made it here to Part V of the Team Preview blogs then you must be horned up for hockey than Biz right now. We have you all caught up on the rule changes we will see in the Champions League this season, so let's get right down to business and break down these teams and find some winners.
TEAM: Red Bull Munich
LEAGUE: German Ice Hockey League - DEL
2022-23 RECAP: Finished first in the Regular Season and won the Championship in 5 games over Ingolstadt. This club is the best and spends money to make sure they are always at the top of the table. They only had trouble on the road last year but don't expect the same for the upcoming season.
SIP 'EM: Buy tickets to a Bayern Munich soccer game and drink many beers in the bars near the stadium.
FUN FACT: Red Bull saved the club from financial trouble and now is the powerhouse of the DEL.
ODDS TO WIN: +2000
2023-24 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OUTLOOK: Should be among the final 8 but don't expect to see them go to the finals like they did in 2019. Legendary coach Don Jackson has retired so it will be interesting to see if they play the same up-tempo style that made them so hard to play against all these years.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Maksymilian Szuber - The Coyotes used a 6th-round pick on this D-man who isn't ready to make the jump over to the States but is a key young player on the blue line for München.
$EBR BET: Overs and Trevor Parkes anytime goal scorer will be big plays in their games.
TEAM: Red Bull Salzberg
LEAGUE: Austria Ice Hockey League - ICE
2022-23 RECAP: Finished the Regular Season in 2nd place, but won the Championship in Game 7 over Bolzano. This club is always the odds-on favorite to win the league due to financial backing from Red Bull that allows them to get the best imports.
SIP 'EM: Steigl is the oldest brewery that survived the World War and keeps the locals happy.
FUN FACT: 8 Austrian league titles and were the first hockey team to be sponsored by Red Bull.
2023-24 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OUTLOOK: I only see two games on their schedule where they will have a chance to win,
ODDS TO WIN: +5000
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ryan Murphy - The former Carolina Hurricane makes the move from the KHL to Austria and brings a ton of experience. He will be dominant in the domestic league and will bring some stability against these top-tier league teams.
$EBR BETS: Will be fading Salzburg most nights, but will tread lightly when they are at home due to the intense atmosphere at their home arena.
TEAM: Rouen Dragons
LEAGUE: France Ligue Magnus
2022-23 RECAP: Finished 2nd in the regular season and won the Championship in 6 games over Grenoble. They have established themselves as one of the top teams in Ligue Magnus both domestically and internationally.
SIP 'EM: Ask a local where “La Bab” is and try to knock down as many of the 300 different beers they have there before puck-drop.
FUN FACT: 17 National Titles and the first French team to make it to the quarterfinals in the Champions League. Rouen is where Joan of Arc was killed.
2023-24 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OUTLOOK: A lower-tier team with a terrible draw that will not make it out of the group stage.
ODDS TO WIN: +50000
PLAYER TO WATCH: Marcel Hascak coming over from one of my old teams Slovan. He was better than a point-a-game player in Slovakia so that will translate well to France where he will be the top scorer.
$EBR BET: Fading this team consistently will be a big bankroll builder for the crew.
TEAM: Skellefteå AIK
LEAGUE: Swedish Hockey League - SHL
2022-23 RECAP: Finished 2nd in the Regular Season and lost in the Final to Växjö. They lost out in the Champions League Semis losing to Frolunda in a tight contest. This is a club that takes this competition very seriously and will be on the hunt both domestically and internationally.
SIP 'EM: Find an O’learys in town and order a Falcon draft…. Actually, order 3.
FUN FACT: "WE WORK TOGETHER, WE GROW TOGETHER, WE WIN TOGETHER" is the team motto and is the most Swedish this ever.
2023-24 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OUTLOOK: Will cruise through the regular season and will be a real threat to win the Trophy.
ODDS TO WIN: +600
PLAYER TO WATCH: Axel Sandin-Pellikka - Detroit Red Wings 2023 1st Round Draft Pick will play another year in the SHL before heading to North America. The right-handed smooth skating D-man should dominate the lower-level teams in the Champions League.
$EBR BET: Skellefteå and Over will be played early in the tourney.