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Claimed:The Continuing Story of Christoph Klose

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Chapter 1 – Arrival


When 12-year-old Christoph Klose first received national attention playing hockey in his hometown of Mannheim, Germany, he was already sure of his long-term career plans. "I want to play hockey in North America, maybe get to the NHL." The budding scorer put up incredible numbers year after year, playing well above his age group, and it seemed like the young sniper was on a track that would see him be the highest drafted German ever in NHL history.


Klose finally made the jump to North America as a 17-year-old, but it wasn't to play in the NCAA or Canadian Junior systems. Instead, Klose cast his lot with the up-and-coming SHL and its affiliate, the North West Junior Hockey League, or NWJHL. Having only been in existence for 5 years, it was considered a major coup by the SHL to bring a player of Klose's caliber under their umbrella. "If I'm being honest, part of the reason is that I was able to make a lot of money right away," Klose revealed. "There was a salary cap for the NWJHL back then, but bonuses were handled really differently than they are now. Between my contract and bonuses, I made almost 3 million during my one junior season. That money goes a long way if you're smart about it. I was able to pay off my parents' house right away as a thank you to them for their support of me during my formative hockey years."


Chapter 2 – The Chiefs



A fresh-faced Klose answering questions after being drafted by the Chiefs.


"Man, Minnesota was really bad their first year," Klose recalled with a laugh. "I remember joking with some of the other junior players that I expected to go back to the NWJHL unless I went to the Chiefs, because they were so terrible. That said, when they traded to get that pick, and then selected me, I was beyond thrilled."


Soon after, Klose was hired to be the Chiefs’ head scout, and under his guidance, the Chiefs began a draft policy of giving up whatever picks were necessary to bring in one or two targeted players. This resulted in the acquisition of David Winter and defenseman Niclas Wastlund. Four years after being drafted, Klose and the Chiefs finally etched their names on the Cup. "That locker room, that team, our performance on the ice, our camaraderie off of it, it was all incredible. I had never been a part of a group like that before and might never be again," Klose said somberly. "Even now, it makes me a little emotional to think about that group of guys and what we accomplished as a team."



A sea of fans snapping pictures of the Chiefs as they celebrate.


Chapter 3 – Thar Be Dragons


The celebrating for Klose in Minnesota was short-lived, however, as he was dealt to the Calgary Dragons just days after winning the Challenge Cup by defeating them. "I was fully aware of the situation, so it wasn't a shock," Klose revealed. “I was feeling a little stale with the Chiefs and wanted a change.” The move to Calgary saw Klose suddenly become a key guy on a team instead of one of many stars. "The best thing about being in Calgary was playing with legends like Kain Webb and Ryan Jesster. Being on a line with Webb, I put up career numbers, and one of the best seasons in SHL history."



Klose celebrating one of his 33 goals in a Dragon’s uniform.


Chapter 4 – The Beginning of the End


At season’s end, Klose hit free agency, along with fellow superstar David Winter. The German duo publicly declared their interest to sign as a pair and received offers from nearly every team. Eventually, however, the duo split their decision, with Klose signing with the Las Vegas Kings. As part of the contract that Klose signed, long-time Kings General Manager Riley Raycroft would step down and give his position to Klose. "In the past, I had been unwilling to take an SHL job because I didn't want to give up on the Firebirds, the junior team that I managed, but this situation was different," Klose said. "Not only would I be in taking over for Riley, but I was also given permission to seek relocation destinations. I've always felt a strong pull toward Buffalo, New York. I approached the league about relocating to Buffalo and had an investor ready to go, but the issue came up with realignment of the conferences. The league went to a vote and decided against moving Minnesota to the Western conference, citing league parity.


"Eventually, though," Klose continued, "we were approached by a group from Seattle who were interested in bringing in an SHL team. We discussed it with the ownership group internally and decided that it made too much sense to pass up. Our condition was that the current team would be allowed to vote on the team name, and once the votes were tallied, we were the Seattle Riot."


Once the Kings were re-branded as the Riot, Klose and Co-Manager Jason Due held a joint press conference to announce their retirements as players. "The announcement was very tough, emotionally, but it was time," Klose said. "Over the course of one summer, I felt a big dip in my abilities, like 15 percent less. I know Duey felt it, too, but we were determined to make the most of our final season."


Although the Riot would miss the playoffs in their inaugural season, Klose finished as the second highest scorer in the league, behind Due. "Looking back on my playing career, there were certainly some highs and lows, but as a manager, I have never felt better about a team than I do with the Riot right now,” Klose admitted. “But, with the enthusiastic and eager Chris McZehrl as a Co-Manager, I can afford to give myself a little extra leeway, which is why I decided to give the “rival league” a shot in my later years. I don’t expect to have the kind of career in the VHL that I did in the SHL, but if I can go out and have some fun and maybe help a team with my experience, then it’s all worth it. I guess it would make sense for me to play in Seattle so I can keep a close eye on the Riot, but if I had the chance to choose a team, I’d head home to Cologne. I always wanted to play in Germany and had some preliminary talks about moving the Kings to Berlin at one point, but they fell through. Now’s my chance to play in my home country for a club team, and I hope that I can do just that.


Chapter 5 – A New Challenge


Klose personally visited the VHL league headquarters in New York City to declare his intentions to play in the league long considered a rival for talent. “The league couldn’t have been nicer,” Klose recalled with a smile. “They set me up with a press conference and immediately got the message out to the VHLM managers that I would be available in the late-season waiver draft. Bratislava picked me up, which I was fine with, having no ties to any of the teams and being on an offseason break with the Riot management. When I got there, though, I couldn’t believe how quiet the team was. I am sure there was a bit of a language gap, but at times I felt like I was just talking to myself. Still, it was a lot of fun to get back on the ice, even though it was painfully obvious how quickly my skills had deteriorated.


Several media outlets reported that Klose looked slower than ever and seemed to have lost almost all of his shooting touch. The rust began to shake off just in time for the VHLM draft, however, and Klose was selected by the Oslo Storm. “I love Norway, and Oslo in the summertime is beautiful, especially the flaxen-haired maidens,” Klose said with a laugh. “The more I skated, the more I felt like myself, and getting to Oslo definitely helped. I know that I’m nowhere near the player I used to be, but my skating and stick handling are definitely approving by the day. My foot speed is probably 75 percent of what it was, and roughly the same for my stickhandling. My shot is taking a little longer to come back, but I can feel it improving slowly. I’m starting to be able to pick corners again, and I think it’s just a matter of time before I start piling up the goals. I’ve been spending double or triple the time on the ice that I used to when I was in my prime, and I can feel it paying off. Hopefully I don't let the Storm down with my point production.


There’s a lot of work to do in the rest of my game, though,” Klose was quick to amend. “Once I get my core offensive skills back, I need to retrain my mind to think quickly in the defensive zone and start rebuilding muscle mass. My bench press was never very good, but right now I think I wouldn’t be able to beat most middle school kids. I'm benching about 90 pounds right now, which is really sad to think about and admit. My passing is embarrassingly inaccurate, and my body seems to have completely forgotten how to lay on a nice hard check. In fact, most of my skills right now are embarrassing. I have had a few talks with the conditioning coaches in Oslo and we have decided that the first area that I'm going to try to recoup my abilities in is defensive positioning. They won't admit it, but I think that they believe I will be unable to build up the mass I used to have, or the strength, so they want me to rely on my smarts, if they can resurrect them. I’ve heard some media people whispering that I shouldn’t be attempting this comeback, that I’m tarnishing my career by even trying, but there’s no way that I’m giving up now. I’m confident it will all come back eventually.


I fully expect to play a second year in Oslo, and, indeed, I’m looking forward to it,” Klose added. “Hockey is such a fast paced game, even at the minor league level, but we’ve got a tremendous crew in Oslo, a lot of young kids, and if nothing else, I hope I can teach them a thing or two that can help them with their careers. I know that I’ll never compete for a scoring title in the VHL, but maybe I can help somebody else reach that level of success. I’m at the point in my life and my career where seeing others succeed because of me is even better than personal success.

Edited by der meister
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Author's note:


I was looking at some of the other biography submissions today and noticed that they separated and clearly labeled their pros and cons, which to me is more of a scouting report than a biography. I took 'biography' to heart and consider the "Several media outlets" paragraph as my pros [201 words] and the next paragraph, "There's a lot of work" as my cons [225 words]. I certainly hope that doesn't negatively impact my scoring on this piece. 

Edited by der meister
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  • Senior Admin

Overview: 3/3

Nice work here! Klose has had a storied career so far and I really hope he is enjoying his time in Oslo as much as I enjoy having him. There was a good balance of hockey and life in this bio and I think it was exceptionally well written with an interesting storyline.


Grammar: 2/2

Nothing worth noting!


Presentation: 1/1

Looks good!


Pros: 2/2

This worked for me. I sort of passed them over at first but after going back and re-reading where you said they were, I understood.


Cons: 2/2

Same as above.


Overall: 10/10

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