Flyers coach targets new signing

Legue scores for Sheffield. Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers. Saturday, January 12, 2013. Pic: Steve Gunn, shotbyagunn photography

Legue scores for Sheffield. Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers. Saturday, January 12, 2013. Pic: Steve Gunn, shotbyagunn photography

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FIFE Flyers player coach Todd Dutiaume is targeting a new import signing to help the team’s push for the play-offs.

Dutiaume currently has 10 imports on his roster, but injuries and suspensions have thus far prevented him from icing them all at the same time.

With big matches coming up in the Elite League, Gardiner Conference and Challenge Cup, Dutiaume hopes to persuade club owners to release funds for an 11th import.

“I’ve asked for it - but I don’t always get what I ask for,” Dutiaume told the Press.

“A few interesting names have come across my desk, but it’s sitting on the directors plate now.

“We’ll see what kind of answer we get.

“If I was guaranteed to have my 10 imports fit and available then it wouldn’t be an issue.

“But injuries and suspensions are killing us.”

Jason Pitton, Zach Carriveau and Jeff Caister have all missed matches in recent weeks, but captain Casey Haines has not played since picking up an ankle injury in the Hogmanay win over Edinburgh Capitals at Murrayfield.

“Casey is responding to treatment very well,” Dutiaume revealed.

“Depending on how it feels he’s going to try a skate on Friday and if he gets through that he will be a possibility for the weekend.

“We don’t want to lose him for the season by pushing him too hard so we’ll listen to the advice we get and make a decision.

“We’ll do what’s right for Casey but his attitude is that he wants to play as soon as possible.”

Flyers suffered defeats to Sheffield and Cardiff over the weekend, and the short-staffed team were shut-out in Belfast on Wednesday, losing 3-0 without Haines, Carriveau and John Dolan.

This weekend they take on Dundee Stars home and away in what are key games in the race for the Gardiner Conference title.

“Dundee have more points, and a game in hand on us, but this weekend can go a long way towards closing the gap,” Dutiaume said.

“Stars have picked up good results recently and starting knocking off some southern conference teams, and it’s made our conference tighter than ever.

“If we want to give ourselves any chance of remaining competitive in the conference than these four points are a must.”

Flyers are also in Challenge Cup action next week with Notitngham Panthers visiting Fife Ice Arena on Tuesday for the quarter-final first leg (face-off 7.30 p.m.).

“First and foremost we wanted to quality for this stage, now that we have we’ve drawn the favourites,” Dutiaume said.

“They gave us a lesson the last time we played in Nottingham, but if we can come out of the home leg with a good result anything is possible.”

MATTHEW ELDER

Twitter: @mattelder_ffp