No panic for Flyers in bid to fill roster

Fife Flyers are still half a team short with the first exhibition game two weeks away.
Fife Flyers are still half a team short with the first exhibition game two weeks away.

There is no panic at Fife Flyers despite still being half a team short with pre-season just two weeks away.

The club is in advanced talks with a number of signing targets but at the time of going to print, had just seven imports and six Brits signed up for the 2017-18 roster.

It leaves the Kirkcaldy side in an unprecedented position of requiring seven more import positions to be filled just a fortnight before the team hits the ice.

Flyers start with exhibition matches German outfit EC Kassel Huskies at Fife Ice Arena on the weekend of August 25 and 26 and it now seems highly questionable whether a full roster will be signed in time.

But with three weekends of pre-season action to come, including the new Scottish Elite Cup at Murrayfield on September 9-10, there are still five weeks until the start of the competitive action, with the opening Challenge Cup match against Edinburgh Capitals not until Septemeber 16.

Assistant coach Jeff Hutchins reiterated his previous message that the club is holding out for the right players to become available.

“We’re still confident we’ll have a team by the exhibition games,” he said.
“We want to have the best team out there that we can afford and that requires patience.

“We can pick out ten guys right now and sign them today, but that wouldn’t do ourselves any favours.

“We have a number of conversations that are at an advanced stage, including one or two returnees that we weren’t expecting. We’re certainly not panicking.”

Flyers latest import signing sees defenceman Ian Young join from ECHL outfit, Elmira Jackals.

The 25-year-old, entering the third season of his pro career, was announced last Friday morning. His stats point to a stay-at-home blueliner who takes few penalty minutes.

Young spent four seasons in the NCAA with Colorado College, icing in 114 games, scoring four goals and 15 assists with just 52 PIMs. His pro career started with the Mississippe Riverrkings in the SPHL before moving on to the Jackals.

Hutchins said: “Ian is a smooth skating, puck moving defenceman.

“Todd and I want defencemen who can get back quickly and transition the puck into the forwards hands.

“Ian works hard on the defensive side of the puck and makes it tough for opposing forwards.

“He has had a solid start to his professional career in North America and we are happy that he has chosen Fife for his first taste of Europe.”