Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume insists he won’t have to worry about his new signings settling in - because they are already known to each other.
Flyers completed their import roster this week with the signing of American defenceman Jamie Milam (30), who won’t be a stranger when he walks into the Flyers dressing room for the first time next week.
Milam is a former team mate of associate-coach Danny Stewart - the pair crossed paths at Fort Wayne Komets in 2005-06.
He was also part of the Komets side that won the CHL championship in 2010-11, alongside Bobby Chaumont and Chris Auger, another of Flyers new arrivals.
Another new face, Scott Fleming, also has links to the Fife roster having iced alongside Matt Reber at Dartmouth College.
Dutiaume is hoping that these past connections - along with the return of eight imports from last season - will help Flyers hit the ground running this season.
“We opened up three spots for new arrivals this summer and we were thrilled with the background that came back on these guys,” he said.
“They are known to a couple of guys already at the club, which should ensure a smooth transition into the line-up, and they also played on winning teams together in the past.
“It means we won’t have to worry about these guys settling in too much.
“They’ve also received good references on Fife, so they are excited to come here.”
Milam may have something to prove in the Elite League as he was released by Cardiff Devils after only 13 appearances in 2012-13 having failed to hit the net.
“That was the lock out year when teams were getting caught up in bringing guys in from the NHL,” Dutiaume said. “I think our game will suit him. He knows what to expect from us and what will be expected of him.”
Flyers imports are due to begin arriving on Monday ahead of next weekend’s pre-season challenge matches against Aalborg Pirates.
The local players have already hit the ice with Dutiaume leading the training sessions at the FIA.
“They’ll all have had a good four or five sessions by the time the imports get in,” he said.
Dutiaume also confirmed that former Edinburgh Capitals skater Jordan Steel is training with Flyers, with the club expected to confirm his signing in the coming days.
“He approached us in the summer and expressed an interest in coming to Fife,” he said. “He’s smaller in size but is a crafty skater with a good hockey mind who I think will help us out.”