The return of Lukacevic the magician ...

Ned Luckacevic Fife Flyers
Ned Luckacevic Fife Flyers

The one thing Ned Lukacevic wanted last season - after a shot at the play-offs - was a chance to stand still.

Hockey players are used to the transitory nature of their job, but the Serbian born left winger had clearly grown weary of the endless travelling and was keen to find some stability.

In 2009 he was a Reading Royals player in the ECHL.

By the time he returned to the arena in downtown Pennsylvania in 2013, Lukacevic and his kitbag had been to Las Vegas, Texas and San Antonio, Sweden, Slovakia, and Germany; nine different clubs in six different leagues across three continents.

It was clear from his media interviews from day one he didn’t want Fife to be just another temporary stop-over.

It was a theme he returned to more than once so it will be fascinating to see what he can do with a full season in Kirkcaldy.

His return has intrigued and excited the fans - his name was high on the wish list of returnees.

Luckacevic is a magician with a hockey stick for a wand.

On form and in the mood he can bamboozle teams with his artistry, his guile, his cunning, while his finishing delivers goals which take your breath away. Few in the EIHL dangle quite like him.

Lukacevic was the showman of a second line which lit up hockey nights during Flyers’ surge to the play-offs.

A haul of 44 points from 34 games underlined his important contribution to the team. Repeat that across a full season and Fife suddenly have the potency needed to ride comfortably up the standings.

Both halves of the coaching team, Todd Dutiaume and Danny Stewart, spoke of his potential to be one of the EIHL’s stand-out players in 2014-15 if he delivers night in, night out.

All coaches crave that level of consistent performance from their star skaters - the mercurial guys who can drift as easily as they can demolish defences. They know that when they get it their teams can be transformed.

In giving Lukacevic the continuity he wanted, Fife will look to him to build on his performances and points haul as they aim to start 2014-15 the way they finished 2013-14.

He is a key signing - and there are still more to come.