James Livingston eager to hit the ice with Fife Flyers

James Livingston won the EIHL Play-off title with Cardiff Devils last season. Pic: Cardiff Devils.
James Livingston won the EIHL Play-off title with Cardiff Devils last season. Pic: Cardiff Devils.

New recruit James Livingston is keen to show what he can do at Fife Flyers.

Known as a fearless and tenacious winger, with experience of playing in the AHL as well as in Austria and Germany, the 29-year-old Canadian certainly has the credentials to become a bit hit in Kirkcaldy.

After winning the Elite League play-offs with Cardiff Devils last season, he is looking forward to getting back on the ice with his new team-mates this weekend when the pre-season programme begins with back-to-back friendly matches against Danish side Herlev Eagles.

“I’m really excited to get started,” Livingston told the Press.

“I’ve been here for a couple of days now and it’s been a great first impression.

“Everyone I’ve met has given me a warm welcome and I’ve been able to explore the beaches a little bit near my place.

“I like what I’m seeing so far, I’ve met all the guys now, it’s a really good group here.

“They are tight knit – a lot of them have been together for a while – and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

As a forward who takes pride in his defensive work, Livingston is hoping to contribute at both ends of the ice this season.

“I bring a good two-way game,” he said.

“I’m a bigger guy so I like to play hard in the corner, strong defensively, and I can definitely help out offensively, and do even more of that this season, for sure.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be a very productive member of the team.

“I love hockey and I just want to get on the ice and show what I can do.

“I’m really excited to see the personnel that are around the room. We’ve got a lot of big bodies on the back end and some very skilled forwards.

“Obviously I don’t know everyone that well yet, but from everything I’m seeing it should be a very exciting season.”

Livingston revealed that one of the key factors in clinching his move to Fife was the references provided by current and former Flyers.

“I was fortunate to play with Schaber years ago – we were in an NHL rookie camp in Edmonton together – and then we played against each other and spoke a few times.

“So I reached out to him and heard really great things about how he’s really enjoying his time here.

“Shane Owen is also from the same area as me and he had nothing but good things to say about the organisation and Kirkcaldy, so once there was an offer that made sense for everyone, I jumped on it.”

The Fife fans also played a role, having left an impression on Livingston during his only visit to the Gallatown rink last season.

“This is similar to some of the rinks I experienced in Germany and it’s all about the atmosphere,” he said.

“I was only here for one game last season and it was sold out from what I remember.

“You could see this was a really passionate fan base. People were yelling at me already and I’d only been there for a period!

“Hopefully they’ll be on my side this year, and it should be fun.”

Livingston is looking to become an integral part of the team after occasionally being the spare import in Cardiff last term, having signed as injury cover midway through the season.

“The situation being what it was, I understood there was a possibility that if the team was healthy, I might be the odd man out,” he said.

“I ended up sitting out a couple of games although, and you can ask them, I don’t really think that was a reflection on me, but that was what I agreed to when I went there.

“It was a very established team with a lot of depth, so they were going to go with the ones who got them to the point they were at.”

With EIHL silverware already in his possession, Livingston is hoping to add to his collection in Fife.

“I didn’t have a full season in Cardiff, but I got to experience the play-off run, which was a whirlwind,” he said.

“Getting to win that tournament was amazing, and I want to bring whatever I can to help this team do the same.”