My eighth year as a pro was most fun I’ve had

Peter LeBlanc (left) with Shayne Stockton in the corridor ahead of the play-off semi-final with Cardiff. Pic: Richard Davies
Peter LeBlanc (left) with Shayne Stockton in the corridor ahead of the play-off semi-final with Cardiff. Pic: Richard Davies

Peter LeBlanc admits he would gladly do it all over again after completing his most enjoyable season as a professional ice hockey player with Fife Flyers.

With an NHL appearance under his belt as well as over 250 games and a stack of points in the AHL, LeBlanc was hailed as a marquee signing last summer.

The 30-year-old managed to live up to reputation, quietly going about his business while notching 68 points in 66 games during his first season in the Elite League.

Speaking after the conclusion of the 3rd/4th place play-off game in Nottingham on Sunday, LeBlanc confirmed his intention to extend his playing career into next season.

“This is my eighth year pro now and it’s the most fun I’ve had overall,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success and that’s one and the same.

“You don’t all have to be best friends on a team, but this year we were and it was an awesome experience. I’m extremely happy with how the year went.”

LeBlanc’s know-how was just one of several factors in Fife’s success this season, often appearing in the right place, at the right time to either set-up an attack, or thwart the opposition.

“I’m more lead by example, keeping guys calm on the bench when things get a little hairy,” he said.

“Just by experience I find that if you stick to the game plan and don’t get too high or too low it helps calm the bench down.

“I just try to go out there and play my best, and work with my team mates. The guys listened, and at the same time, I learned a lot from guys like Moyer.

“It was a great season playing a role I was comfortable with.”

LeBlanc flew back home to Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday where he will spend the summer with his family, while weighing up his future.

“I’ll see what my options are,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll figure that out in the next couple of weeks and months, but I definitely want to continue my playing career.”

And might that involve a return to Fife?

“That would be great,” he said. “All the players got along really great, and we achieved a lot this year, so we’re all hoping for the same thing.”

After being blown away by the EIHL play-off finals weekend, LeBlanc admits it is an event he would like to return to in the future.

“It was awesome – loud and packed both days,” he said.

“It was a really cool experience with the whole city abuzz about the tournament.

“It definitely exceeded my expectations. It’s the first time I’ve been here and it makes you want to come back for more.”