BEING shown the door by two Elite League clubs has given Frantisek Bakrlik all the motivation he needs to be a success at Fife Flyers.
The big Czech forward was signed by Hull Stingrays in the summer, only to be released in November after hitting six goals and 16 assists in 27 games.
He was quickly picked up on a trial basis by Coventry Blaze, who also decided not to keep him after he contributed three goals and six assists in 14 games.
Now after making Fife his third club in the space of five months, 6ft 5in Bakrlik is keen to prove his point to the clubs who deemed him surplus to requirements.
“I’m going to help this team and show everybody I can be the leader,” he told SportsPress. “Hopefully I’ll put some points on the board and the best thing alongside that will be if we can get to the play-offs.
“I’ve never moved so many times in one season and it’s been difficult for me, but that’s hockey life.
“Sometimes teams don’t have money, or they just want to get a better team.”
Bakrlik, a keen football fan, started playing ice hockey at the age of seven, and after making the Czech under 18 team he moved to North America with dreams of making it to the NHL.
When that failed to materialise, he moved back to Europe, competing in both Czech and Polish leagues up until his move to the UK this season.
“It’s a different style of hockey here,” Bakrlik explained. “In Europe there’s not too much hitting, and it’s a much smarter game.
“Sometimes you go on the ice and have a shift without the puck because you’re just chasing the other guys.
“There’s a lot of smart plays. It’s a quicker game here, and more physical. I like this style better.”
Bakrlik made his Flyers debut in the 3-1 defeat to Cardiff Devils on Saturday, and then helped the team to a 4-3 victory at Braehead Clan on Wednesday.
“So far, everything here has been positive,” he said. “I like the town, it’s pretty nice and the rink is different – it has something special in it.
“I came here to help the team try to get into play-offs. That’s my goal.
“It looks difficult right now, but you have to play until the end.
“I think Hull will lose games, but I also know they can win against the big teams, so it’s going to be hard.
“You never know, it could be Edinburgh who fall back. They will lose some games too.
“It doesn’t matter who we need to catch, as long as we get there.”