FIFE Flyers are prepared to leave the head coach position unfilled while long-time servant Todd Dutiaume assesses his own future.
The Canadian, who first joined the club back in 1999, is currently recovering from a nightmare injury picked up in the final league match of last season.
The 39-year-old, player-coach for the past eight seasons, suffered a broken knee-cap blocking a shot against Braehead Clan and now has his left leg in a brace following surgery.
Dutiaume will be returning in some capacity, along with last season’s assistant player-coach Danny Stewart, and both have already started working behind the scenes on next season.
However, what exact role both play in the future of the organisation will depend largely on Dutiaume’s recuperation from injury, and commitments to his job as a fireman.
Dutiaume said: “I don’t know how this is going to affect the future. It’s a long, arduous rehabilitation period.
“I’ve spoken to the directors, and they are quite willing to work with me in that respect. I’ve been with the team a long time and they’re being very supportive.
“They’re happy to leave a decision on the coaching position until we know more about my health, and time commitments.
“My work were very understanding last year with a lot of things, and a big priority of mine is getting back to work because that’s
“My relationship with the Flyers directors allows me to be in this position, but it doesn’t mean that we haven’t got things going on behind the scenes.”
Dutiaume has held initial talks with imports from last season’s team that he would like to keep, and dialogue will continue over the next few weeks.
“I’ve identified a core that I think would be beneficial to have back in a Flyers uniform,” he explained.
“All the guys did a great service to the club last year, but we finished in eighth place so we need to improve as a team, and put an even better product on the ice.
“Over the next five or six weeks we’ll hopefully see things start to take shape.”
One player not returning next season is John Dolan, who has opted to move back to Dundee Stars.
Dutiaume added: “The only probelm we had with John was that travel became an issue.”
“He works full-time, like the rest of our Brits, and some of our training didn’t fit into his family life.
“It was beneficial to have John in our line-up, but if he was going to be coming back we really needed him to be committed full-time to get the most out of him.
“He’ll help Dundee’s line-up, but it knocks some of their other guys out of a position so we just have to see where the chips fall.”