Fife Flyers working hard to put together new-look squad

Fife Flyers have begun recruitment “in earnest”, with the long-anticipated new season now looming.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 10:08 am
Bari McKenzie was Fife Flyers first signing for the season ahead (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

With the league scheduled to start on the weekend of September 25/26 and with fixtures set to be announced today, head coach Todd Dutiaume says he and assistant Jeff Hutchins are working long hours to put a new-look squad together.

"Some teams that played in the Elite’s mini-series got a good look at some guys and had the opportunity to get back into coaching and those channels,” he said.

"For us, it was a case of dusting down the old contacts book and reaching out.

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"We’ve began recruiting in earnest. We’re now 100 per cent moving forward as far as recruitment goes and we’re speaking to multiple guys day and night.”

Two names have already been secured, with fan favourite Bari McKenzie returning along with fellow forward Craig Peacock, a former EIHL title winner who has made the move to Kirkcaldy from Manchester Storm.

Dutiaume said: “Bari wears his heart on his sleeve out on the ice. Everybody knows what he brings to the table. He’s a character who engages with our fanbase and is a big, friendly guy who has been around the game for a number of years who can still contribute out there.

“Bari showed interest very early on in coming back and it was an easy decision for us.

“Lockdown has presented us with a unique experience in that I managed to get on the golf course with Craig and get to know him.

“I know what his goals and aspirations are for the game and we are more than happy to facilitate that.

“He’s a competitor. He’s been a thorn in our side for years, so we’re pretty pleased that he’s now going to be wearing a Flyers jersey.”

Dutes says that he expects the first game back at the Fife Ice Arena to be a mix of elation and nerves.

"When you’re in your routine, in a normal off-season you really don't have that much time off because you go from getting everything wrapped up into recruiting, so when you’re removed from the game for over a year you need to knock some rust off and get back into things,” he said.

“Stepping back out in front of a live crowd will be the same for the coaches as it will be for the players but hopefully we’ll soon get back into it.”