Flyers sign two with more on their way

KIRKCALDY;'FFP 100; FIFE ICE ARENA'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'FFP 100; FIFE ICE ARENA'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

FIFE Flyers have signed two new forwards with one crossing the Atlantic Ocean – and the other the River Tay.

American centreman Casey Haines has been snapped up from East Coast Hockey League club Reading Royals.

And Flyers have also prized highly-rated Scottish forward John Dolan from rivals Dundee Stars.

Player-coach Todd Dutiaume is delighted with both captures - and hinted more recruits are on their way.

“We have a couple of offer sheets out right now and we’re hoping to get them completed in the next few days,” he said.

“Once we do we’ll be in a really good place. We’re very pleased with direction team is going in.

“The season is only three weeks away but things are shaping up nicely.

“We’ll be stepping onto the ice in September in a much better place as an organisation, more experienced as a team, and a lot stronger as a squad than we were at any point last year.”

Haines (25), born in Indiana, has spent the past two years in the ECHL with Reading Royals where he totalled 30 goals and 43 assists in 131 games.

He has also had brief call-ups to the second-tier American Hockey League, featuring for both Lake Erie Monsters and Norfolk Admirals.

Dutiaume said: “This signing shows that the club is serious about going after high end guys.

“Casey is a guy that’s going to contribute on the ice, in the dressing room and in the community.

“We want the whole package – not just a one-sided hockey player – and that’s what we’re getting.”

Dundee-born Dolan has spent almost his entire career at the Stars, and Dutiaume is a huge admirer.

He said: “I’ve played against John since back in the BNL days and he’s been a thorn in the Flyers side for years.

“He had an excellent year in the Elite League last year – scoring 46 points was a breakthrough year for him.

“We’re hoping he can do a similar job for us. It ups the ante among our British forwards.

“They already know more will be expected of them this year, and signing John sets the benchmark.”

Dolan is looking forward to a new chapter in his hockey career at the age of 31.

“Todd’s told me good things about the direction that the team is going in, and I’m excited to be part of it,” he said.

“It’s a strange feeling to leave Dundee – I know a lot of people there and the owners have been good to me over the years.

“But the time was right for a change and I’m looking forward to playing for the Flyers.”

Dutiaume confirmed that Flyers will be starting the season with nine imports, leaving room for a netminder and two more forwards on the roster.

“Improving our British core and starting with nine imports puts us in a really good position,” he said.