New Flyers goalie brings ‘fantastic pedigree’

KIRKCALDY;'Fife Flyers v Nottingham Panthers - EIHL; STEVEN MCALPINE'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

KIRKCALDY;'Fife Flyers v Nottingham Panthers - EIHL; STEVEN MCALPINE'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

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FIFE Flyers have signed a netminder who was previously drafted by an NHL club.

Bryan Pitton, a fifth round draft for the Edmonton Oilers in 2006, will take his place between the pipes for Fife’s second Elite League campaign.

The 24-year old, who hails from Ontario, Canada, is a former team-mate of the man he will replace, Garrett Zemlak.

The pair played together at ECHL club Stockton Thunder during season 2010-11, with Pitton holding down the starting position.

Pitton has split his time between the ECHL and the AHL, and even earned a direct recall to the NHL in 2009, serving as Jeff Deslauriers’ back-up in Edmonton.

Flyers player-coach Todd Dutiaume believes he has made a shrewd signing.

“Bryan is a young guy who comes with a fantastic pedigree,” Dutiaume told the Press.

“He’s a good solid goal-tender –something that is very important to us.

“We recognised after last season that we needed to bolster our defence and a solid dependable goalie was essential to that.

“He comes with great references and he’s excited to ply his trade in Europe. He’s also very keen to help get Fife into the winning tradition.

“This signing completes the back end of our team and we’re delighted with the way it’s shaping up.”

Kirkcaldy-born forward Steven McAlpine has also re-signed for the club.

“He’s a long-serving member of the organisation and we’re delighted to have him back,” Dutiaume said.

“He’s an extremely hard worker and does the simple things well - and that’s a huge asset for this club.

“Unfortunately we got ourselves into a situation last season where we needed points production from him, and his goals just weren’t coming.

“He played on all three lines and found that transition difficult, but he’s been working hard over the summer and is in incredible shape.

“We don’t want him to forget what makes him successful – and that’s chasing down pucks, playing the body first, and forcing his line mates to keep up with him.

“But he has to find a way of combining that with a bigger contribution offensively.”

Dutiaume also confirmed that veteran forward Andy Samuel has decided to retire - bringing to an end a near 20-year career in the sport.

The player-coach hopes to tie up deals for up and coming forward Josh Scoon and back-up netminder Blair Daly in the coming days.

He is also on the cusp of bringing another two import forwards to the club, which would complete his roster ahead of the new season.

“We’re there or thereabouts,” Dutaiume said. “The offers are out, and we’re just waiting to get them back.

“Hopefully everything will be tied up early next week.

“A few weeks ago everything seemed a little hectic, but now it’s all falling into place.

“The whole organisation is way ahead of where it was this time last year.

“All the stuff off the ice like flats and cars is being taken care of, so all I have to focus on is making sure the product on the ice is ready to go.

“We’ve got new dressing rooms which will be ready for new season starting, and the ice is down, so we’ll have three weeks of skating under our belts before our first game.

“It goes without saying we’ll be looking to get a better start than last year - and we’re in a great position to do that.”