Fife Flyers confirm return of conference winning coaches

Fife Flyers assistant coach Jeff Hutchins (left) and head coach Todd Dutiaume with the Gardiner Conference trophy. Pic: Steve Gunn
Fife Flyers assistant coach Jeff Hutchins (left) and head coach Todd Dutiaume with the Gardiner Conference trophy. Pic: Steve Gunn

Todd Dutiaume and Jeff Hutchins awill lead Fife Flyers into the landmark 80th anniversary campaign.

The coaching duo’s return, announced this morning, came as no real surprise after they steered the team to their best ever EIHL season.

Flyers celebrated their first Elite-era silverware by capturing the Gardiner Conference title, rode as high as second place in the league, and made the play-off finals for the third time.

The duo were already busy behind the scenes before official confirmation of their return was made.

For Dutiaume, it marks his 21st season with Flyers.

He is the longest serving import in the club’s history – he’s been there for a quarter of the club’s 80 years – and also its longest serving coach having taken over behind the bench in 2005-06 when Flyers dropped into the grassroots SNL following the implosion of the BNL.

It’s his third season with Jeff Hutchins, and the duo have forged a strong partnership and friendship.

Dutiaume admitted the 2017-18 campaign was the most enjoyable yet in the EIHL – and his goal is to keep the buzz rolling into the club’s special anniversary season.

“Winning helps but having good people around you is key,’’ he said.

“It has reignited that strong desire to continue to drive our club forward and build on the successes of this past campaign.’’

Flyers have yet to make any player announcements, but there is work going on behind the scenes, and only one player, back-up netminder Jordan Marr, has moved on – suggesting some players have deals in place con firming their return while others are enjoying a summer break before making a decision on their own futures.

Dutiaume said there was “an open line of communication with all personnel’’ adding: “We know fans are eager to hear some signing news, but we are also eager to get the right guys, and build a team that will work for us and that our fans will get behind.’’

Hutchins added “I am excited to be working with Todd again for the coming season. We have built up a strong friendship and working relationship that makes it enjoyable to come to the rink everyday. We are focused and ready to push this great club to the next level after last years successes.’’