SIGNING for Fife Flyers wasn’t in the script for Dan Ceman this season.
However, he is delighted to have joined the Kirkcaldy club after coming through one of the most difficult weeks of his life.
Ceman lost his job as Dundee Stars player-coach last week after a run of just three wins in 22 Elite League games prompted club directors to swing the axe.
Flyers player-coach Todd Dutiaume was quick to offer the 38-year-old centreman, who played with his brother Mark at Sheffield Steelers in season 2005-06, a spot on his roster.
And after weighing up his future over the weekend, Ceman committed his future to Fife on Tuesday, making his debut, and scoring, in the 4-1 defeat to Coventry Blaze on the same night.
After the match, he told SportsPress: “It’s been a crazy, stressful week but I’m very excited to have a new focus in Fife.
“I had some nerves – no matter how many years you play still get them. I was happy to be able to contribute with a goal, but we’re here to win so I can’t be too happy with how it went.
“I’m coming in to help make the team make the play-offs. That’s the goal.”
Ceman is still raw over the way things ended at Dundee, admitting that his sacking came as a shock.
“How it ended was certainly disappointing,” he said. “I don’t want to be bitter, that’s now how I want to finish that chapter in my life, but it was very difficult to deal with for a few days.
“It was a shock. It’s a business, they made their decision. The coach never agrees with a decision to release him, but I just have to move on.”
Ceman has joined a team in a similar predicament to the one he found himself in last season with Dundee - new to the Elite League and struggling to make the step up.
“I know exactly how hard it’s been for Flyers because Dundee was in a similar position last year with 17 straight losses,” he said.
“It was very difficult to even get close in games, but we turned it around. Everyone stayed positive and we built on the small improvements until, eventually, they became big improvements.
“We went on a good run and made the play-offs, and there’s lot of potential to do the same here, no question, the team just has to stick together.
“With Cohen to come back in, and a new D-man on his way, this team will have a good shot of going on a run for the play-offs. It will be exciting to see how the team develops over next month.”
Ceman only met his new team mates for the first time in the warm-up on Tuesday night, and he is looking forward to getting to know them better in the coming days.
“It will be nice to go on a road trip on Saturday and get to know them,” he said. “I’ll get a few practices in before then, and get into the Fife routines.
“I’m sure the chemistry will get better. When you can zip the puck around without looking is when you’re at your most effective. I don’t think Fife has a natural centre-man so hopefully I can provide that for them.”