The apathy and no ecstasy
It’s true what they say in sport. It’s always the hope that kills you and in the case of Fife Flyers, the hope went long ago and it’s been replaced in some quarters by anger and frustration.
They’re a club with a proud history and tradition and rightly so as they’ve competed in various level of British ice hockey with great success to show for their efforts.
Anyone that plays for them are like family and are treated with great adulation, just purely because they’ve worn the jersey of the team from Kirkcaldy.
The fans are proud and the coaches are too, but off the ice, for some reason, it’s become a rudderless ship where it looks as though, from the outside, like the team have basically just been left to their own devices.
I know what Flyers fans will think. “Here he is, that Clan fan getting his tuppence worth in about our team” and if that’s you’re thinking then that’s entirely up to you.
The short rivalry between Glasgow and Fife means that I should be looking to stick the boot in and revel in the supposed apathy that’s hanging around the club.
Truth is, I’m not. Not one bit.
Any ice hockey fan worth their salt would hate to see their club in this predicament and it’s a slippery slope as the Flyers tumbled into the bottom two places of the Elite League table after a run of one win in their last 10.
Head coach Todd Dutiaume has spoken on a number of occasions about the need to make changes and freshen things up in his team. Unless something is in the pipeline, then those calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
I saw the Flyers when they came to Glasgow on Hogmanay and I was shocked at how poorly they played. I would even go so far as to say that’s probably one of the worst performances I’ve seen in a Fife team in the years I’ve covered the league.
The team and the coaches are doing their best, but the management are badly letting them down with a series of issues that has left them shaking their heads in disbelief.
PR gaffes like the way the signing of Danick Gauthier was handled was disgraceful and I know the media team that have been in place this season are doing their best with the resources they have.
Even in the build up to the home game against Glasgow Clan on Saturday, there was little to no build up at all for a game that should be one of their big earners.
In the past, there’s been videos of previous occasions where they’ve beaten the Clan to try and get the juices flowing. Between Hogmanay’s poor loss and Saturday, there was very little.
It’s taking its toll on the fed-up fans as well, with some of them no longer going as the club stays in the rut its found itself in. If there’s one thing owners don’t like, it’s the sound of money walking out the door.
The club needs to re-engage with their supporters before they really do end up in a bad way. I’ve even offered my services to help with content, such is the very little that comes out of Kirkcaldy.
But this is a Fife Flyers team that should be better than what it is. Todd Dutiaume is the embodiment of the club and its history and he definitely deserves more from what he’s getting from his management.
The season is in serious danger of slipping away and if the Flyers were to do the unthinkable and miss the play-offs, there will be big questions needing answered.
Let’s hope they wake up and smell the coffee before it’s far too late.
Big response to Ayr rink story
Our story about the plight of Ayr Bruins and their situation with the rink at Limekiln Road in the town gave a big response and I know it’s been greatly appreciated by those at the club.
While I live in the area, I’m not originally from there, but I quickly learned about the history of the sport in Ayr, especially being married to and into a family of former Eagles season ticket holders.
It would be a disaster to see the sport leave and I know there have been people contacting Alex and Eric and I even received one or two messages myself from people looking to help.
Whether it can lead to some great news going forward for the Bruins, it’s too early to say, but just by getting the message out, it’s bringing it into people’s minds.
So thank you for your responses and messages and let’s see if Ayr can return properly to the ice hockey map.
GB teams flying the flag
I just want to end by wishing the GB teams currently in World Championship action all the best this week in their respective campaigns.
The Women’s Under 18 side, under head coach Cheryl Smith, have had a couple of indifferent results, including yesterday’s loss to Norway, but hopefully they can turn it around in their final games to get something from the group.
We have the Men’s Under 20’s starting today and Martin Grubb has a good group he’ll hope can lead them to glory, starting this morning against Japan, face off 10am, which is live on FreeSports.
Best of luck to all the players in what will be a big few days ahead.