Sturm will join ERC Ingolstadt after the World Cup of Hockey in mid-September if no CBA is reached by then. He has fully recovered from a broken left leg suffered in March, an injury that made him miss the last 15 games of the regular season and all 17 games of the NHL playoffs.
Sturm has reportedly been chased by several other teams from the German Elite League. Hamburg was a hot candidate, as Sturm had been participating in offseason workouts and mini-camps in the Munich Barons-Hamburg Freezers organisation for years, together with his brother-in-law, goaltender Christian Künast.
Ingolstadt's big plus was its vicinity to Sturm's home in Dingolfing, which is roughly 60 miles away.
The 6'0", 195lbs forward has played only two seasons in the DEL. He tallied 28 goals and 47 assists (90 penalty minutes) in 93 games for the Landshut Cannibals from 1995 to 1997.
Sturm became the first-ever German-trained NHL first-round pick when the Sharks selected him 21st overall in 1996. Sturm made the Sharks roster right away after heading across the pond in the summer of 1997.