A former rival coach has been appointed Todd Dutiaume’s new assistant at Fife Flyers.
Ex-Dundee Star Jeff Hutchins, who led his side to the Gardiner Conference title in 2013-14, is also to take on the role of Director of Player Development at the Kirkcaldy club.
Hutchins played for EIHL sides Coventry Blaze, Belfast Giants, Newcastle Vipers and Edinburgh Capitals, before moving to Dundee in 2011, assuming the player-coach role from 2012 to 2015.
After leaving Dundee he had a spell as head coach of China Dragon in the Asia League but the 38-year-old Canadian is now back in the UK and is looking forward to his new role in Fife.
“I am really excited to be joining the Flyers,” he said.
“Todd and I have been speaking about this role for some time and I am glad that we have come to an agreement.
“I am ecstatic to be joining such a storied franchise with some of the most passionate fans I have come across in professional hockey.”
“Todd and I are looking forward to getting the guys on the ice for training camp and getting the season started.
“The organisation has set high expectations for the coming year and I am looking forward to playing my part with the Flyers and developing the home grown talent.
“I look forward to meeting all the Flyers’ faithful in the coming weeks.”
Flyers head coach Dutiaume feels that the appointment of a full-time assistant is a positive step for the club.
“Moving forward I identified to the directors that I would like to have a full time assistant,” he said.
“After extensive talks it was decided that this would be a direction that our organisation would head towards.
“Over the course of the summer and after talking with Jeff about our beliefs, goals and expectations as well as getting to know more about him as a coach and person, I decided that it would be an excellent working partnership.
“Hutch brings a wealth of hockey knowledge, a winning pedigree and we share a common vision for the future of this club.”
Dutiaume also believes Hutchins can play a vital role in developing local talent.
“Alongside of his coaching role with us, he will also take control and be directly responsible for player development - not only with our existing players but with the future players of this club,” Dutiaume added.
“For years we have had young players training with us on a regular basis and now we will have coaching in place that will be solely dedicated to bridge the gap between junior hockey and the Elite League.
“I look forward to working closely with Jeff and continue on the path towards bringing success to Fife and its loyal fan base.”