Fife Flyers add new faces to British contingent

Fife Flyers' Chad Smith leaves the ice at 2018 play-offs (Pic: Richard Davies)
Fife Flyers' Chad Smith leaves the ice at 2018 play-offs (Pic: Richard Davies)

The ranks of Fife Flyers’ home based players will look very different for the 2018-19 season.

The club will head into its 80th anniversary with some new faces, and a few young skaters returning to their roots.

Bari McKenzie, signed for Fife Flyers 2018-19

Bari McKenzie, signed for Fife Flyers 2018-19

It’s the biggest shake-up since the team returned to top flight hockey in 2011.

Chad Smith returns for a second season after a summer spent playing in Australia, and he is joined by Bari McKenzie, signed from Braehead Clan.

Caly Robertson, son of former Flyers’ captain Iain, is also on board after his breakthrough rookie year with the now defunct Edinburgh Capitals, along with Jordan Buesa, the GB under-18 forward who split last season between Braehead Clan and Solway Sharks.

At 32 years of age, McKenzie brings a raft of experience to the roster

He has over 400 EIHL games under his belt, and his CV include spells with a number of teams including Manchester Storm, Basingstoke Bison, Coventry Blaze, and Belfast Giants.

He spent the last three seasons with Glasgow Clan.

The coaching team is looking to him to play a key role in the team, and in the dressing-room.

Todd Dutiaume, head coach, said: “Bari comes with a wealth of experience and knows what it takes to play at this level.

“We will be counting on him bringing the work ethic he has become known for and also using him as top penalty killer.

“We also hope to tap into his offensive capabilities he’s displayed over the years.

“Along with Chris Wands, Bari will become a mentor for our young athletes that want a full time position in this squad.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Chad Smith took his first steps into senior ice hockey last season before enjoying a summer playing Down Under with Sydney Bears.

The young forward now returns for his second season as a pro.

Dutiaume said: ““This is an important year in his development and we want to get a good look at him this pre-season.

“We’ll be interested in assessing the work he has done in the off season.

“He needs to continue to work hard on his strength and conditioning to push for a full time spot in this line up.’’