In bringing his ice hockey career across the pond, Danick Gauthier is following in his father’s footsteps.
The Fife Flyers forward is the son of Daniel Gauthier, who made a brief breakthrough in the NHL with Chicago Blackhawks in the mid-90s before plying his trade in Europe.
Gauthier Jnr was signed by Tampa Bay Lightning on a three-year deal at the age of 20 but never quite made it onto the club’s NHL roster after making 60 appearances for AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch.
Now the French-speaking Canadian hopes to emulate the success his father had overseas following his move to Fife.
“I did have ambitions of playing in the NHL but I’m getting older and I wanted to play in Europe,” Danick told the Press.
“I like travelling, and it’s fun to see new stuff, so I decided to come here for the new experience.
“My dad’s a hockey player too, he used to play in Austria, and I followed him around a little bit when I was young.
“He showed me how to play and taught me a lot about hockey. Now he’s retired he’s the one following me and watching me play.”
Gauthier Snr certainly had a successful career in Austria, where he averaged over a point per game at various clubs, and Danick is aiming to surpass his father’s achievements.
“I always want to be better than him, and try to beat everthing that he did!” he said. “He was a guy who put up a lot of points. He wasn’t really physical but he could score, and was a really great passer. I’m a more physical player than my dad but I like to score too.”
Danick’s physical attributes were on full display in the Scottish Cup final against Braehead Clan at the weekend where he was one of several players to drop the gloves and engage in a fight.
“If something happens, for sure, I’m going to fight,” he said. “If I have to, I’ll fight, but I’m not the guy whose going to go looking for them.
“It’s a team toughness here and that’s good because we know the guys can protect each other.”
Gauthier certainly has the energy, size and speed to become a success in the EIHL, and a firm favourite among Fife fans.
“I love it here,” Danick said. “I didn’t really know what to expect but I’ve just been enjoying myself with the guys. They are all good guys, the coach is good too, and it’s a good atmosphere.
“It’s a different rink size - the ice is way bigger. The games are more physical in North America because there’s less time to make a play. I like it here where you have more time to make some plays.
“The first couple of games it was an adjustment, but the more I’m playing the more I’m getting better at it, and now I think I’m good with it.”
Gauthier has been mostly paired up with line mates Charlie Mosey and Chase Schaber thus far and believes they are beginning to develop some chemistry.
“I like to play with Mo and Chase, they are good players,” he said. “They are really fast and make good decisions.
“Both have good hands, and both can score and put the puck on my tape, and I can do the same. We have a good relationship on the ice.
“I think we have a pretty good team. We’re fast, we work hard, and if we do that all year we can go pretty far.
“I will work really hard and do my best for the team.”