Isaacs drafted by Fife Flyers as injury cover

James Isaacs, Coventry Blaze, signed as injury cover for Fife Flyers, September 2016
James Isaacs, Coventry Blaze, signed as injury cover for Fife Flyers, September 2016

Fife Flyers have snapped up defenceman James Isaacs as cover for the injured Phil Paquet.

He will make his debut this weekend.

Isaacs arrives in Kirkcaldy direct from a summer playing in Australia, and may have to skate through jet lag as he laces up for the for the club’s opening Challenge Cup games of the new season.

They are at home to Belfast Giants on Saturday, and travel to face Braehead Clan on Sunday.

Isaacs is no stranger to the EIHL or Jeff Hutchins, Fife’s new assistant coach, having played for him at Dundee Stars.

He made 16 appearances for the club in 2013-14, returning again the following season before moving on to Coventry Blaze last season.

But his stay in Kirkcaldy will be short-term – the player has plans to move back to the ECHL in north America next month.

Hutchins said: “James is a steady stay at home defenceman who is all round solid. He takes pride in playing the right way and he is good in the room; he’s well liked and respected by past players.’’

Flyers are still waiting to see how long they will be without Paquet who missed the pre-season challenge games

Hutchins added: ‘‘This is the perfect situation for James and us.

‘‘He will help fill the void left by Phil. We don’t know how long Phil will be out and. James is intending to go the ECHL in four weeks so he can stay in game shape until that time.’’

Meanwhile, Kyle Follmer will miss the weekend opening games as his visa issues continue.

He was signed in mid-July but the paperwork has yet to be completed, leaving the club, and head coach, Todd Dutiaume, deeply frustrated.

Follmer, signed from Quad City Mallards in the ECHL, has already missed the pre-season and will now be absent as the team begins the 2016-17 campaign.

While he waits for clearance to arrive and play in Kirkcaldy, Flyers have welcomed John Dolan to their training sessions.

The former Dundee Stars sharp-shooter iced with Flyers in 2012-13.

Dutiaume said: ‘‘We are actively moving towards temporary import cover for the weekend and beyond to soften the blow of missing Paquet.

“John Dolan has been skating with the club. It is our job to look at any viable options to better this club and present these to the directors.

‘‘John looks to be in good shape and is hungry to play.’’