Fife Flyers have moved to secure the services of long-serving defenceman Thomas Muir.
The 27-year-old returns for his 12th season, having played 278 times for Flyers since making his debut in the 2001/02 British National League season.
Muir was one of the success stories of last season, emerging from a difficult first year at Elite League level to deliver a much-improved performance last term.
And player-coach Todd Dutiaume is looking for Muir to pick up where he left off when the 2013/14 season resumes in September.
“After our first season in the Elite League when we were all a step behind, Tommy’s game was under the microscope,” he said.
“He was one of only four D-men logging a lot of ice time and he took a lot of criticism about not being ready for the league.
“But last season he got up to the pace and with solid guys around him, it was really hard to fault his performances.
“He had a really good second half of the season and became one of our top penalty killers.
“He’s not a guy who goes through the motions - he gives 100% and that’s what we like about him.
“We’re delighted to bring Tommy back, he is one of our longest serving players and knows what it means to play for this organisation.”
Muir has earned a reputation for fearlessly dropping the gloves with some of the league’s tough men.
However, with Flyers opting for a grittier line-up of imports this season, Dutiaume wants Muir to concentrate on playing.
“Tommy’s not an enforcer but he’s done a great job stepping up for his team mates,” Dutiaume said.
“He’s never afraid to drop the gloves when others around him are maybe pretending to tie their skate laces.
“However, Tommy is more effective for us when he’s on the the ice playing a smart defensive style.
“A lot of big tough guys are coming to the league next season, and we don’t need Tommy sticking his chin out, taking on these guys, and sitting in the penalty box.
“He’s proved he can play in this league and we want him to stick to playing - and playing tough.”
Another player linked with Flyers this week was American forward Andy Contois.
Rumours last week suggested he was set to join Braehead Clan, but the Press understands he is now heading to Kirkcaldy.
The 31-year-old winger has spent the previous two season’s with Rodovre in Denmark.
Press sources have also confirmed that last season’s netminder, Bryan Pitton, a fans favourite, will not be returning next season.
Pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Fife Free Press for an exclusive interview with Flyers signing Thomas Muir.