Danick Gauthier will swap Sydney for Kirkcaldy when he returns to Fife Flyers for the 2019-20 ice hockey season.
The power forward is playing for fun Down Under this summer – one of a number of players who have packed their skates to experience life in a league which is well below the EIHL in terms of standard, but which keeps them in shape, and lets them travel the world at the same time.
Also Down Under are the Crowder brothers, Paul and Tim, with Sydney Ice Dogs, and both strongly rumoured to also be bound for Kirkcaldy; Paul returning to Fife, and Tim possibly joining after a season with Coventry Blaze.
In just 13 games the Goat has racked some 27 points to lead the scoring with the Sydney Bears who sit third in the league, but well behind the top two teams.
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Gauthier’s return was one high on the fans’ wish list, and confirmation of his signing for a third season came on Saturday – the club’s first communication for almost one month.
“Skilled and physical” was head coach, Todd Dutiaume’s summary of the key forward whose was a major player for Flyers last season as he led the line and gave them a physical edge when needed.
“Danick is a popular guy both on and off the ice,” said the coach.
“We were keen to bring him back for another season. He’s a versatile, skilled two-way player, who can play both a skilled and physical game.
“He’s popular in the room amongst his peers, and also off the ice with the fans.”
At 6-2 and 200lbs, Gauthier brings size to the roster, but his commitment, goals and leadership are all key qualities.
The club’s injury crisis mid season saw him soak up the ice time, and drive the team as far as it could go in the race for the play-offs.
And that made him a firm favourite with the fans who also thrilled whenever he dropped the gloves.
Gauthier’s signing takes Flyers’ roster to eight confirmed skaters – well behind all other EIHL teams.
Several players from last season have certainly stayed under the radar with no hints on next steps for the likes of former NHLer Brett Bulmer, and fellow imports Joe Basaraba, Scott Aarssen, or Evan Stoflet – it’s almost certain some have sealed deals with Fife but the club has yet to make any announcements.
The only new face, so far, is that of defenceman Sam Jones from Swindon Wildcats, who is seen as a like for like replacement for Craig Moore who moved west to join Glasgow Clan.
The club is still in the market for a starting netminder following the departure of Shane Owen to Belfast Giants, and a replacement for Evan Bloodoff who opted for a fresh challenge with Coventry Blaze.
The season starts in just under 40 days.