Fife Flyers this week secured the services of their current longest serving Brit for another season.
Thomas Muir will return for a 14th consecutive season with the Flyers having made his debut in the BNL in 2001-02.
The 29-year-old has developed a reputation as a hard-working, no-nonsense defenceman and head coach Todd Dutiaume is keen for him to build on that next season.
“Tommy was keen to commit to another season and we’re absolutely delighted to have him back,” Dutiaume said.
“He is at his best when he plays to his strengths, and over the years he’s been one of first ones to stand up for his team mates.
“You absolutely need guys like that.
“Coming into the Elite League was a huge step for Tommy but he was in a fortunate position in that expectations were low in first season.
“Now four years on those expectations have been raised.
“When Tommy plays direct and competes, he is very effective back there and gives us crucial depth at the back end.”
“Now as he has matured at this level, we will look at Tommy to be a leader at the back and in the room.”
“We’ve emphasised this to all returning Brits - the key is going to be consistency and hard work.
“We want those guys to deliver what we know they can do night in, night out.”
Dutiaume has challenged Muir, and the rest of his Brit-pack, to fight it out for the title of best Brit next season.
“Tommy battled a couple of injuries last season, but the season before he won our Most Valuable Brit award, which was well deserved,” Dutiaume said.
“The main goal for these guys should be fighting to get into the line up, and playing big minutes, but I’d also like to see our Brits have a little bit of friendly competition for that award.
“Every year it’s been easy to pick the stand out - I’d like three or four of them in with a chance at the end of the season.
“I know they are all capable of doing it and we’ve been keeping on top of these guys all summer.
“They’re putting in more work than they have in the past and we’re hoping it pays off for us.”
Dutiaume confirmed that Flyers intend to start next season with a full import quota of 13, which must include two EU/dual passport holders.
With only six imports currently on the roster, that could mean as many as seven more new arrivals from overseas.
“We’re very pleased with the position we are in right now,” Dutiaume said.
“The team is shaping up nicely and is looking pretty well rounded.”