Isaacs looks for second chance in Fife after failed move to North America

James Isaacs, Fife Flyers. Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright. Do not use, copy, edit or share without permission
James Isaacs, Fife Flyers. Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright. Do not use, copy, edit or share without permission

Defenceman James Isaacs could be handed a second chance at Fife Flyers after his surprise inclusion in the line-up for Sunday’s defeat to Braehead Clan.

After initally signing a short-term contract to provide injury cover last month, the Canadian-British dual national turned down the chance to stay in Kirkcaldy to instead try his luck with Cincinatti Cyclones in the East Coast Hockey League.

However, after failing to win a spot on the Cincinatti roster, Isaacs flew back to Scotland and straight back into a Flyers line-up that remains affected by injuries.

“I was released from Cincinatti and decided I would be a bit more pro-active this year and that Europe would be the place to go,” he said.

“I hopped on the earliest flight I could, and my girlfriend lives in Scotland, which is a similar reason as to how I got here in the first place.

“Right now it’s a one-game deal so I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it was great being back.

“Everyone is so welcoming here and it was great to see all the boys again and they were all smiling so I was pretty happy.

“Thankfully I can come skate here and at least be an extra body while some of the guys are recovering.

“I’ll stay in shape and just take it day by day.

“Things can happen in the blink of an eye in hockey so we’ll see what happens.

“But I lost my passport when I was back in the US and had to get an emergency British passport to fly over, so I’ll be immobile for the next week at least!”

Isaacs admitted that the decision to leave Fife was a tough one, but that he felt compelled to take a chance on a possible return to North America.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” he said.

“I knew that if it didn’t work out in Cincinatti I would regret not staying in Fife, but at the same time, I think I would’ve regretted it more not going to Cincinatti.

“It was a decision I hoed and hummed about for a long time. Ultimately, it didn’t work it and who knows, everything happens for a reason so we’ll see what happens.”

Isaacs left after the 2-0 Challenge Cup defeat away to Dundee Stars on September 25 - a match which also coincided with injuries to David Turon and Ric Jackman.

“My last game here was the last game Turon and Jackman played as well, and it’s strange that I’ve gone and come back before they have,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate - injuries do happen - but it’s a long season and it’s maybe better to get the injury bug out of the way early because when the points really start to matter towards the end of the season you don’t want a hurt line-up.”

Isaacs was unable to help Flyers to victory on Sunday as they crashed 6-2 to Braehead to exit the Challenge Cup at the group stages.

“I really wanted to win that one,” he said.

“It was just a few simple errors - the same from the night before from what I heard.

“Braehead are a tough team and there was obviously some animosity from the night before, but we’ll get them next time.”

Isaacs was involved in a flashpoint that saw Clan’s ex-NHLer Jay Rosehill ejected from the game on a 5 + Game penalty for cross-checking.

“Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue with the refs,” he said.

“I don’t know how I ended up getting a penalty in that incident when I was watching the ref the whole time.”