Flyers close in on North American defenceman

Fife Flyers netminder Garrett Zemlak makes a save as Belfast Giants go on the attack. Pic: Steve Gunn
Fife Flyers netminder Garrett Zemlak makes a save as Belfast Giants go on the attack. Pic: Steve Gunn

FIFE Flyers are closing in on the signing of a North American defenceman – and could fly him over in time for Saturday night’s crucial Forth derby.

Player-coach Todd Dutiaume (pictured) had all but concluded the deal when speaking to SportsPress on Wednesday, but he refused to name the D-man while contracts were still unsigned.

Dutaiume said: “We’ve indentified the individual that we want, and we’re close to bringing him in.

“We’re passed the advanced talks stage, and I’m hopeful that in the next day or two we’ll be able to make an announcement.

“I really like him, I think he’ll prove to be a great fit for us.

“I couldn’t give a definite answer on whether he’ll be here for the weekend, but I’m quite hopeful it will be there or thereabouts.

“I’ll now be continuing my search for an impact forward who will give us that extra striking power we need.

“Having two new guys on board is going make a huge difference to this club.

“It will open up my options and give us the depth we’re currently lacking.”

Dutiaume believes that the experience of playing with fewer imports will benefit the team once reinforcements finally arrive.

“The imports are frustrated because they don’t want to lose games and I know they probably don’t feel like it right now, but this is building their character,” he said.

“They will be better players for it, and I’ll get more out of them when I get a couple of guys in to support them.”

Flyers face Edinburgh Capitals at home on Saturday and Dutiaume is wary of the threat posed by their top marksmen, Rene Jarolin, the Elite League’s top scorer with 20 goals in 22 games.

“Edinburgh’s first line has been wreaking havoc, and Jarolin is scoring goals for fun,” Dutiaume said.

“We have to find a way to shut it down. There may be a little bit of line-matching but it’s difficult because they only run with 11 guys.

“It’s a different style of hockey geared towards offence so we have to find a way to cancel them out, and then our forwards should be able to inflict some damage against them.”

Flyers then travel to the Cardiff Arena on Sunday, a small rink where players have to be prepared for a physical battle against the Devils.

Dutiaume added: “You cannot go down to Cardiff without taking and making hits. If we try to play on the perimeter and flick at pucks, they will abuse us. That goes for any game.

“We’ll need to get our noses dirty if we’re to come back with points.”