Stanley Cup winner hoping for more silverware in Fife

Ric Jackman, Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn
Ric Jackman, Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn

Ric Jackman has won ice hockey’s biggest prize, but he insists that an Elite League championship with Fife Flyers would mean every bit as much.

The highly-decorated defenceman lifted the NHL Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks, and also claimed a gold medal with Team Canada at the 1997 World Junior Championships.

But the 38-year-old, now in the twilight of his playing career, hopes to add another string to his bow this season by helping bring silverware to Fife.

“A title is a title to me,” he told the Press. “I’m not dwelling on the past, I’m committed to being here with this team and I’m just looking forward.

“I don’t think I have too many years left of playing so I’m cherishing these moments with this group of guys.

“We have the guys in this locker room to be one of the top teams come the end of the season.

“Our goal is to bring home the hardware - and if we stick to the game plan, and play the way we know we can, then we have a good chance.”

Jackman came agonisingly close to winning the EIHL title with Braehead Clan last season as the injury-hit Glasgow side were pipped at the post by Sheffield Steelers.

“There’s nothing more defeating than when you know you have a team that can do it, and you flop at the end,” he said.

“Last year I thought we had a great team, and we had a good chance to go all the way, but we ran into injuries at key times. Hopefully this year we can stay healthy and stick to the game plan.”

Jackman grabbed his second goal in Flyers colours at the weekend, notching in the 4-2 victory over Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday, which followed a 4-0 reverse in Belfast the previous night.

“Any time you can contribute and help out, it’s exciting,” he said. “It’s especially nice to score at home in front of your own fans.

“It was huge to bounce back from Friday. You want to pick up points every weekend.

“We went into Belfast and had a pretty poor performance so it was nice to have a game right away again.

“You hit the delete button and start afresh, and any time you get two points in front of your home fans it goes a long way.”

After overcoming a frustrating early season injury, Jackman is enjoying his time in Fife since making the summer move from rivals Braehead.

“It’s been great - I’m having a lot of fun,” he said. “We have a good group of guys and coaching staff here, and from top to bottom it’s a class organisation.

“We have an older group of guys who know what it takes to win and it shows when we do have a poor performance like we did in Belfast, that we come back and have a strong performance and get points the next night.

“Having a veteran core of guys like we do means the young guys can lean on them, and it’s up to us to lead the way, and play the game right way.

“The injury is behind me now, but it was frustrating. It was one of those nagging injuries where you don’t know timescale, and you’re just hoping you’re going to wake up and it be better.

“It had to run its course - and it did - and I’ve put it behind me now and looking forward to getting on with the rest of the season.”

Jackman is one of the oldest competitors in the EIHL and will be 39 before next season comes around, but he has not yet decided whether this year will be his last on the ice.

“I take it one year at a time,” he said.

“I’ll see what happens and I’ll assess that come the summer time.

“My focus is here right now and on winning another championship.”

One he does hang up his skates, Jackman hopes to move into coaching.

“I quite enjoy that side of the game,” he said.

“I run some camps back home in the summer, and I got a little taste of it last year in Braehead.

“I’m not going to say it’ll be an easy transition, but after playing this game that I love fro 20 years pro, and almost 15 years before that, hockey is what I know.

“It’s my passion and it’s what I love to do. We’ll see if the body can handle another season and, if not, I’ll look into the avenue of coaching.”