Fife Flyers set for first signings of summer

Todd Dutiaume  and Jeff Hutchins with the Gardiner Conference trophy. (Pic: Steve Gunn)
Todd Dutiaume and Jeff Hutchins with the Gardiner Conference trophy. (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Fife Flyers could unveil their first signings of the summer later this week.

The move follows confirmation of the return of coaching team Todd Dutiaume and Jeff Hutchins for the 21019-20 ice hockey season.

Season ticket details also due to be unveiled.

The activity marks the start of Flyers’ summer of preparations off the ice as the coaches build a new team.

It will be their fourth year together at the helm.

Dutiaume is the longest serving import in Flyers’ history, having joined from Telford Tigers in 1999.

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He took over as head coach in 2005-06, leading the team back to top flight ice hockey when Flyers joined the Elite League in 2011.

Hutchins, former player-coach at Dundee Stars, came on board following the departure of Danny Stewart in 2016-17.

There was never any doubt the duo would continue their partnership at Fife for the forthcoming season – the club has only engaged two coaches since 1995 when Mark Morrison took over what was a decade long stint before passing the baton on to Dutiaume..

The club finished sixth in the league after a prolonged spell in the top four.

Dutiaume said “I am excited to be back with the organisation that I’ve called home for 20 years.”

“The last eight years in the Elite League have seen this team continuously move in a positive direction, and we look again to push forward next season.”

“After speaking with all of our players, we have a good number of key guys to form the foundations of a successful squad.”

“As coaches we will strive to put the necessary pieces in place to ensure that we ice a team that our community wants to support every week, and challenge for the successes we all want to see this club achieve.”

Hutchins added “I am happy to be returning to a hockey town that has such a strong and passionate fan base.”

“Todd and I have built a strong personal and working relationship over the last three successive seasons and we have had success over the last couple of years by building exciting teams. I look forward to getting stuck in this summer and building around a strong core of individuals, and hopefully this year we can continue to improve and take the next step up the ladder.”

The coaching staff have already identified the core of last season’s roster they want to retain.

The departures of British skaters Caly Robertson to MK Lightning, and Craig Moore to Glasgow Clan, open up two slots to be filled, but there will also be new faces among the imports with Rick Pinkston calling time on his career after serious injury left him in hospital at the end of last season, season, and others moving on.

“We’re working harder to put the pieces together,” said Dutiaume. “We are significantly further ahead than we have been before.”