Born: November 13, 1961 (Calgary, Alberta)
Died: January 4, 2015 (Bietigheim, Germany)
The Canadian-born forward Danny Held pursued a professional hockey career in Germany. After gaining citizenship, he played for the West German team, even scoring a goal against his homeland in a stunning 5-3 upset in the 1987 world championship.
In a game played in Vienna, Austria, on April 21, 1987, Held roofed a shot from 10 feet out to beat Sean Burke and make it 3-0 for West Germany in the second period. Earlier in the game, Burke had thwarted Held on a breakaway by making a dramatic glove save. The German victory was the first over the Canadians in 29 world championship meetings. With victories against Finland and Switzerland, West Germany barely missed out on the medal round.
Held played in 10 games at the world championship tournament, recording three assists to go with his only goal.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound right winger played junior hockey with the Langley (B.C.) Thunder and the Seattle Breakers, for whom he scored 35 goals with 44 assists in 71 games in 1979-80. The Philadelphia Flyers selected the flashy forward in the fifth round (No. 105) overall of the 1980 NHL entry draft.
After two solid but not spectacular seasons with the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League, Held moved to West Germany, where he 18 seasons as a player before becoming a coach. He skated for Schwenninger, iserlohn, Eintracht Frankfurt, Eisbären Berlin, Heilbronner, and Augsberger, before finishing his playing career with the Bietigheim-Bissingen. He also played in 20 international games for the West German national team.
Known as Danny Dynamite as a player, he embarked on a coaching career, guiding such teams as the Schwenninger Wild Wings, Stuttgart Rebels, and Bietigheim Steelers. Away from the rink, he owned Danny’s Bar and Grill in Bietigheim-Bissingen, a city of about 42,000 people in southwestern Germany near the French frontier.