Fife Flyers head coach Dutes breaks year-long silence after "shock" of lockdown
Fife Flyers Head Coach Todd Dutiaume is hard at work after a year of inactivity.
The Canadian was speaking to the FFP for the first time in over 12 months, simply by virtue of the fact that during that time he had nothing to say.
Fife Flyers had ceased to operate.
But now back in business ahead of the new season, “Dutes” says lockdown has been a tough time for everyone associated with the club.
“Because it's a huge part of our lives, it was a real shock to the system and unbelievable that we weren't going to get to the finish line for the season,” he said.
“We then went into scramble mode to ensure everyone got home swiftly and safely. Things were happening at a rapid pace and I had a lot of conversations with people and we were all thinking we would get back to normal quite quickly.
“It then became apparent that wasn't going to happen and the Flyers were shutting down for a season so went into assist mode with helping players making the move to other leagues to try and get them jobs.”
Despite the devastating loss of a year of his coaching career, Dutiaume says spending more time at home was one unexpected benefit.
"With the kids being off school I was able to spend time at home.
I don't know how much my daughter enjoyed that, but I did immensely - my first year mathematics is now spot on!
“Although I didn't have a wage coming in, it was nice to spend time with my family.”
Now, looking ahead, Dutiaume says he has some concerns over the lasting impact of the pandemic.
“Every year there's a balance where there are a number of players who are exiting the game, while at the same time a fresh pool of guys from the junior leagues and college leagues are coming in to fill those positions.
“Never before have we seen a situation in our lifetimes where such a huge number of jobs were taken out of the market and then a number of players subsequently forced to go and find work in different areas.
“I think there is a potential of being a shortage of hockey players at some point, although a number may come flooding back as we start recruiting.”
He added: “Basically, we're just looking forward to getting back to hockey.”