IT’S a challenge that will excite every Fife Flyers fan - can you select the greatest players in the club’s illustrious history?
And it’s a challenge the Fife Free Press is going to lead to help launch the club’s landmark 75th anniversary season this autumn.
October 1, 1938 saw the doors to the then Kirkcaldy Ice Rink open for business, and plans are in hand to celebrate the historic day 75 years on.
And as part of that week’s special events, the Press will publish, for the very first time, the 75 greatest Flyers’ players ... ever!
It’s a huge task, but work has already started, and today we invite fans from across the generations to submit their own nominations which our specially invited panel of judges will debate and decide on the final 75.
Anyone who has iced for Flyers from 1938 onwards is eligible to be considered, but only the very best of the best - the true legends and heroes - will make it into the final 75.
So, how do you define a true great?
Ice hockey is a stats-based sport so the numbers are important - games played, goals scored and assists logged - but we will be looking beyond the raw data to consider an individual’s commitment to, and influence on, the club over the decades.
And from that we will create a long list - and it may be a very long list! - of possible contenders who will then have to be whittled down by our panel.
And there can only be 75 listed so debate on the merits of key nominees could get lively!
Where do you start?
Well, you have to go back to the very beginning and consider the pioneers of the club; guys like Les Lovell Snr whose claim to fame is he not only led and played for the first ever Flyers’ team but he also helped to finish building the rink.
He also created the first dynasty at the club with sons Les and Lawrie, and grandson Lindsey all donning the famous gold, white and blue tops.
There are also the Lattos, Haigs, Cottrells, Hornes and Kings - fathers and sons, and brothers, who have all been at the very heart of the club over the decade.
Will they all make it into our final 75?
And how do we juggle the claims of the imports - the stars from Canada - with the incredible talent which has been carved on our own doorsteps; kids who went from being rink rats to star skaters.
For every Stoyanovich there has been a Les Millie, for every Steve Moria a Bert Smith or Jimmy Mitchell.
Each and every one has a strong case for inclusion, but space is at a premium, and while jealously guarding against the sin of omission - a driving force when we compile our annual ‘FP100’ of the great and the good - we simply cannot include them all.
And then there are the coaches - they too cannot be overlooked. From the multiple award winners Al Rodgers and Mark Morrison to those such as Mike Fedorko whose stay was brief but whose impact lasted longer, they are part of Flyers’ legacy.
And then there are the modern heroes - the guys who have kept faith and brought the club back from grassroots hockey to top flight pro league and big match nights drawing up to 2000 fans.
Our summer of research starts now and will keep us busy right through to the start of the season.
We hope our ‘Flyers 75’ sparks debate - we’re certain it will! - and captures the enthusiasm of hockey fans old and new.
We’ll tell you more about it in the coming weeks, and unveil our panel of experts whose decisions will help to shape the first ever publication to celebrate the greatest of the great.
Let’s get to work!
Pick Your Own Greatest Ever Line
Ask 75 Flyers’ fans for their greatest ever line-up and chances are you’ll get 75 different formations!
But we’re going to ask anyway!
In setting ourselves the task of choosing the 75 greatest players of all-time, we accept our final choices will be subjective, and possibly contentious.
So, who would YOU pick? We are inviting all fans to create their own greatest ever Flyers’ line consisting of a netminder, two defencemen and three forwards ... and a coach.
You can mix and match from across the decades, so your blue line may have Kenny and Kyle Horne, or Al Sims and Derek King, while your forwards could be Vincent Lukac, Jimmy Spence and Bud Scrutton.
And they could be coached by Brian Kanewischer or Jack Dryburgh.
Get your thinking caps on, and then send your own greatest ever line-up to us - and we will list every single one in our unique supplement published as part of the October anniversary celebrations.
>> How to take part
Simply email your greatest ever line to us at firstname.lastname@example.org together with your own name and a line about you (how long have you watched Flyers, where are you from, and do you sit/did you sit in a particular section).
We will include every submission in our supplement so your own definitive line-up will be recorded for posterity.
There’s no entry fee - and this is open to every single fan, past and present.
You have until Friday, September 20, 2013 to send us your entry.