Joe jumps across the pond to join Fife Flyers

Fife Flyers' new signings Joe Basaraba (right) and Evan Stoflet at Abertay University
Fife Flyers' new signings Joe Basaraba (right) and Evan Stoflet at Abertay University

Staging a photo-shoot in Fife Flyers colours in the heart of Dundee might be close to parking your tanks on Dundee Stars’ lawn, but the club’s new link with Abertay University will be a home from home for two new signings.

Joe Basaraba and Evan Stoflet have both enrolled on an MSc International Human Resources Management, and face a season juggling skating and studying.

But combining the two isn’t new to Basaraba.

An under-graduate he has spent four years studying finance.

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“It is going to be a busy year. I’ll up here every week so it will be busy, but getting the opportunity to play, travel and study is fantastic,’’ he said,.

Basaraba charted his journey to Fife on social media, tweeting pictures of his plane ticket and his arrival at Edinburgh, although the journey began much earlier.

“Last summer I was in touch with the coaches, and we talked, but I wasn’t quite ready to jump across the pond.

“We chatted again this summer and I felt it was the right time and the right organisation to play for.”

Basaraba, a native of Fort Frances, Ontario, spent past year icing with ECHL outfit, Greenville Swamp Rabbits – a franchise perhaps better known to old time fans as Johnstown Chiefs – in sunny South Carolina.

He was one of their top three points scorers after making a similar impact with Idaho Steelheads where was in the team’s top five stats.

He has been part of the ECHL since joining Cincinnati Cyclones in 2013-14 after leaving the University of Minnesota DeLuth icing in the WCHA and NCHL.

Fittingly, it was at Abertay he got to know his new team mates as they were put through their paces as part of a pre-season training camp.

“There were a lot of reasons to come here,” he said. “A new opportunity and a fresh start, and chance to play and study.

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“In terms of ice hockey, I chatted with Jeff Hutchins so I knew it was a big ice surface over here – stepping on to it made me realise how big it is!

“It’s going to be fun to play on the big ice surface.’’

Basaraba describes himself as a two-way forward, and his stats point to a player who will deliver good numbers too.

“I like to get up and down the rink, and the big ice should help my skating - and I’m hoping for a few goals.

“Meeting the guys, they are all great – I can’t speak highly enough of how welcoming everyone has been.

“We will have a great group on and off the ice.”