Flyers take stock and open talks

Todd Dutiaume, head coach Fife Flyers - on the bench at EIHL play-off finals weekend'Credit: Steve Gunn
Todd Dutiaume, head coach Fife Flyers - on the bench at EIHL play-off finals weekend'Credit: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers will sit down for talks with their players this week before the team goes its own way for the summer recess.

The ice hockey club has had little time to reflect on its first ever EIHL play-off finals weekend appearance - and the rumour mill is already in full flight!

Flyers’ return to the big stage has raised the bar not only among fans, but put their own star skaters firmly in the spotlight.

Todd Dutiaume, head coach, and Danny Stewart, associate coach, will meet the players to feedback on the accomplishments of the 75th anniversary season, and get their thoughts on what happens next.

There is certainly a hope among many fans that a core of the team which battled so hard to get to the semi-finals will return in September.

At Nottingham, Dutiuame said: ‘‘Every time you get success the first question is ‘will you keep the team and bring them all back’.

‘‘There are a lot of factors involved.

‘‘Last season we did really well getting to the quarter-finals, and everybody wanted the players back, but circumstances saw a couple of guys decide to retire so that changed things.

‘‘We will meet with the team and give the guys feedback and also find out what their plans are.

‘‘We also have to sit with the directors and decide where we go, because we want to keep improving.’’

While Flyers traditionally keep signing news under wrap until mid-summer, there is every chance they may move quicker this time round with season tickets already on sale and a huge buzz surrounding recent full houses in the build-up to Nottingham.

This week the club signed off its anniversary season with a thank you to its fans.

Describing 2013-14 as ’’one heck of a season’’ it reflected on the journey to the play-offs and continued: ‘‘This was an awesome achievement not only for the players and the team, but also for the fans.

‘‘We are sure everyone would agree that Flyers deserved their place at the NIC and gave league champions Belfast Giants a real run for their money.

‘‘Narrowly missing out on that final spot, Flyers proved that they deserved their spot in the semi-final and that both players and fans could leave with their heads held high, and optimism for the season ahead.’’

The curtain will come down on ice hockey tonight (Thursday) with a special fundraising event in the curling bar.

Defenceman Matt Nickerson is having his famous beared shaved off to raise funds for CHAS.

His wife, Noora, is also having her hair cut to raise money for the Little Princess Trust which makes wigs for kids going through cancer treatment.

The couple have already raised over £2300, and the big hair cut is free and open to all fans - doors open at 7.00 p.m. and it starts at 7.30 p.m.

There will be a raffle in aid of CHAS and Flyers’ shop will be selling some merchandising.

>> Play-off Weekend special: Eight pages of coverage in this week’s Fife Free Press