Fife Flyers kick-start signings with return of Bari McKenzie
Fife Flyers have kick-started their team building for the 2020-21 season with confirmation of the return of fans’ favourite, Bari McKenzie.
The signing of the experienced British forward came hot on the heels of the EIHL’s announcement of a December start date forthcoming campaign.
It will be his third season with the club.
McKenzie joined from Glasgow Clan in 2018, but his hockey career spans some 17 seasons, and teams across all four countries in the UK.
He first iced in the EIHL with Coventry Blaze in 2004-05 after stepping up from Milton Keynes Lightning. He also had brief spells at Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils before returning north of the border where he has iced with all four top flight teams - Fife, Clan, Edinburgh Capitals and Dundee Stars.
He cam to Flyers on the back of three seasons with rivals Clans, and has gone on to be a big hit on and off the ice - and one of the leading players when it comes to engaging with fans.
As well as figuring heavily on the club’s online TV channel, he also co-hosted The Hockey Show launched in conjunction with the Fife Free Press.
McKenzie said: “I am happy to be back. It is a big relief to get things sorted in the current situation we are in.
“I have said from day one though that I love Fife and I love being here. I have been welcomed in open arms by Tom [Muir], Dutes and all the office staff – every single person has been great with me and I could not have asked for anything more.
“Even before the season finished, I wanted to come back, so I am happy everything is sorted now and that when the league gets back, I will be back in Fife.”
The club had been one of a number across the EIHL to hang fire on marking signing announcements while the season was shrouded in uncertainty, although the coaches have been speaking to players to get a feel for their plans as lockdown restrictions start to ease.
Todd Dutiaume head coach, said: “We have really focused on looking at the British players that will be playing for the squad this year, one of the first ones out of the blocks is Bari – who is a fan favourite and guy people really get behind.
“Bari is the kind of the guy who will go out and do whatever job that is asked of him. He knows exactly where he is at in his career and he engages really well with our fanbase on and off the ice – which is a character many people crave.
“He will always be there to help out his team-mates and do a lot of the dirty work out on the ice that not everyone wants to do. He is a player who has been very effective for us and wears his heart on his sleeve.”
Dutiaume added: “Bari has a number of years left in the game, but when you get to the twilight of your career it is about helping other players on and passing on your knowledge.
“Bari has a wealth of knowledge of how the British game works, plus he still has that fiery, competitive nature which you still really need to be successful at this level.”
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