ONE hails from New York, the other Kirkcaldy, but both will be starring for Fife Flyers next season.
American defenceman Matt Cohen, and local forward Steven Gunn, were this week confirmed as the latest players to sign up for Flyers’ Elite League debut.
Cohen (25), a former Team USA under 18 international, starred in Germany’s top league with Hamburg Freezers last season, and has played over 50 games in the AHL with Lowell Devils.
He has also made 140 appearances in the ECHL, and was the league’s third-highest points scoring defenceman in 2008-09 while at Trenton Devils.
Todd Dutiaume, Fife Flyers’ player-coach, said: “Matt’s pedigree speaks for itself – he is going to be a great catch for us. He brings great experience from some top leagues and we’re going to look to him to be our quarter-back in defence.
“He knows about our history and knows we are moving up this year, and he’s excited to be a part of it.”
Retaining his place in the Fife team will be Gunn (26), who has been the club’s top scorer in the Northern League for each of the last four seasons.
And Dutiaume expects the former St Andrews High pupil to work harder at his game in order to become an EIHL success.
“For the last five years Gunny has been one of our top point scorers, so we were keen to try him out in the EIHL,” Dutiaume said.
“We’ve pressed upon him how big a step up this is, and that if he wants to be a regular scorer at the highest level he will have to deliver night in, night out.
“If he wants to play on one of the top two lines he will need to bring more of a complete package.
“He’s been working hard over the summer, but one of his issues is his cardio. Once we’re on the ice we’ll be working hard to get him in shape.”
More signings will be confirmed in the coming days once paperwork issues are resolved, and Dutiaume confirmed that he will be bringing in an import goalie.
“It’s an awful big responsibility to put onto a local guy because he would be under a tremendous amount of pressure,” he said.
“There is a spot for a local guy to play games in this league, but an import will come in not only for his experience, but also for the local guy to learn from him.”
Dutiaume also revealed that he is in advanced talks with regards to appointing an assistant coach, and bench coach, for the forthcoming season.
Meanwhile, at Fife Ice Arena, work has begun on installing plexi-glas in time for the big face-off in two weeks time.