Fife Flyers’ signings: Three new imports and a returning fans' favourite unveiled
Fife Flyers have unveiled three new imports for the forthcoming season - plus the return of a fans’wp favourite.
Netminder Shane Owen will be back between the pipes for the 2021-22 campaign which faces-off in six weeks.
It will be his third stint in gold, white and blue having iced in 2016-17 and again in 2018-19.
And he will be joined by three new imports straight out of the university circuit in North America as head coach Todd Dutiaume builds a new look team to re-ignite the sport after an 18-month lay off during the pandemic.
The club has signed American forwards James Anderson and Jacob Benson, and Canadian skater Carson Stadnyk who will all make their UK hockey debuts.
Their signings come as Mike Cazzola hangs up his skates, and previous starting netminder, Adam Morrison, moves to Dundee Stars.
Dutiaume said he was delighted to get the trio of signings over the line, and is looking forward to working with them - and welcoming Owen back to the rink.
The highly-rated netminder was part of the mini Elite Series staged earlier this year, icing with Coventry Blaze, and his return will be welcomed by fans.
Dutiaume said: “We could not be happier to welcome Shane back.
“I have never been able to say a bad word about the guy. He is a true professional and we cannot wait to get him in and get to work.
“This will be hugely popular with our fanbase. Everybody knows what Shane brings to the table.”
Flyers’ trio of import signings are all new to UK hockey.
Benson, 25, comes to Fife with a championship winning pedigree.
He was part of the NCAA (NCHC) championship winning St Cloud State University side in 2015/16.
In 2020-21 he was with the Knoxville Ice Bears for season 2020/21 and was the top scorer in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Anderson, 24, and another forward, joins from NCAA side Mercyhurst University where he logged more than 120 games for the side, scoring 51 points.
And Stadynk makes the move across the pond from the Sask Valley Hockey League in Canada where he played with the Central Butte Flyers.
He is an alumni of the University of Saskatchewan, where he played 110 times and notched up 75 points.
Added Dutiaume: “I am delighted to get these signings over the line and bring them to our line-up.
“Carson is a player who will bring some size and speed – he definitely has the ability to post numbers in the professional game. We are very excited to bring him in.
“James will provide us with some good speed up and down the wing, something akin to a power forward. He has a good skillset and I think the fans are going to really take to him.
“As he settles in here, we are going to rely more and more on him and this could be a real find for the club and us.
On Benson, the coach added: “I get the sense that this kid has played on some absolutely stacked line-ups and did not always find himself in the most offensive positions.
“He will get the chance to do that here and he is capable of putting up some fantastic numbers. He is a workhorse.”
Flyers have back to back pre-season friendlies against Dundee Stars.
The teams meet in Tayside on Friday, September 17, and in Kirkcaldy on Saturday 18th.
Flyers begin the EIHL 2021/22 season the following weekend with an away league trip to face Coventry Blaze, followed by an opening home game on Sunday against Belfast Giants in the Challenge Cup.
Added Dutiaume: “It’s a compressed pre-season – one week training, games against Dundee, another week together and then straight into the EIHL."