We’re a different team now we’re at full strength

New Flyers signing Rok Pajic
New Flyers signing Rok Pajic

Todd Dutiaume has warned Braehead Clan to expect a different Fife Flyers team this Saturday to the one that lost its opening three home games.

The arrival of Slovenian forward Rok Pajic this week will be complimented by the return from suspension of defenceman Matt Nickerson.

And with fellow D-man Tim Hartung also given an “outside chance” of recovering from injury in time to face the Clan, the Flyers head coach has the prospect of a full import quota at his disposal for the Challenge Cup clash.

“This is something we’ve fought to have for a long time, and it will turn us into a different hockey club,” Dutiaume said.

“Instead of forcing the line-up we now have the freedom to change up lines and get guys together that we want together.

“The line-up we have this weekend will be more balanced and we’ll have three lines of forwards that compliment each others game.

“Rok will give us another dimension offensively, and Nickerson will take the pressure off guys in defence by allowing them to play fewer minutes.”

Pajic played last season in Italy for Pontebba where he scored 19 goals and 19 assists in 44 games.

He has played the majority of his career in the Czech Republic where he has iced 278 times, scoring 159 points.

The 27-year-old also has 27 caps for Slovenia, and Dutiaume is delighted to bring in someone with international pedigree.

“A lot of our guys don’t have that experience at that level,” he said.“We’ve had a good look at him in training this week, and he’s going to be a handy player for us.

“He has a great resume, he’s a great kid, and I think he’ll do good things for this hockey club.”

Saturday’s visit of Braehead is Flyers first match against their Glasgow rivals this season and Dutiaume is keen to draw first blood.

“We want to lay down the gauntlet to Braehead for the rest of the season,” Dutiaume said. “They were heavily touted to win the division over the summer but Dundee are the ones who have got the flying start.

“Braehead are going to be a strong team this year but we’ve been playing good hockey ourselves. We just haven’t got the wins yet.”

Meanwhile, the oldest ice hockey club in Britain will celebrate their 75th annivesary with a legends match at Fife Ice Arena on Tuesday.

The match will see Flyers current players mix with stars from the past in a celebration of the club’s illustrious history.

Five members of the 1999/2000 Grand Slam winning team - Ted Russell, Frank Morris, John Haig, Steven King and Russell Monteith - will ice along with other legends such as Ron Plumb, Vincent Lukac, Bernice McCrone, Doug Smail, Gordon Latto, Karry Biette and Dave Stoyanovich.

Flyers current head coach, Todd Dutiaume, who is also one of the club’s longest serving players, said: “It’s an exciting time for our organisation.

“These legends from the past cast a long shadow in this town, and it will be good to put some faces to the names.”

Face-off is 7.00 p.m and admission prices are adult - £12, OAP/student - £10, juvenile (15 and under) - £6.