This weekend’s opponents have featured a number of players who have also played for Fife Flyers. Let’s take a look at who those “double agents” have been starting with Saturday night’s visitors.
An Introduction to the Tilburg Trappers
The southern city of Tilburg is known as the city of textiles and home to around 225,000 people, but also for its carnival Kruikenstad. In 1938, the Trappers were founded and they would go on to be crowned Dutch League Champions 14 times and Dutch Playoff Champions 15 times. Playing out of the IJssportcentrum Tilburg, with a capacity of 2500, the Trappers joined the German third tier of Oberliga. They won three Oberliga Nord titles in a row between 2017 and 2020. And between 2016 and 2018 the German playoff title: Oberliga Meister. Currently the team is led by Dutch-Canadian, Doug Mason, who also coaches the Netherlands National Team.
Brett was with the Trappers for the last two seasons and top scored for them with 41+57 in 50 games in his first season. He spent one season with the Flyers during 2018/19 when he was second in team scoring in all competitions behind Paul Crowder. After leaving Fife he spent most of the following season with the Nottingham Panthers before finishing it in the German DEL2. 2021 he remained in Germany in the third tier and was the top scorer for the Hannover Indians with 37+39 from 39 games.
Bobby played the best part of three seasons for the Flyers and lies second in EIHL scoring all time but with the best points per game ratio during the team’s EIHL era. He started the 2012/13 season with the Braehead Clan before moving East and was the Flyers top scorer in league play that season. He was second in overall scoring the following two seasons before he left for a year with the Dundee Stars. He left the Dundee for season 2016/17 where he became a Trapper. He only played a dozen games before he moved back to North America to the Southern Professional Hockey League. He returned to Europe for the next three seasons before retiring.
Kyle was with Tilburg for the 2015/16 season, his first outside of North America, and finished second on points. The following three seasons, before his arrival in Fife for the 2019/20 season, he played in Germany, Italy and Finland. In the Covid shorted season with Fife he played 55 games scoring 8 goals and picking up 15 assists. After leaving Fife he has resigned for the 2023/24 season, his fourth consecutive year, with Hungarian side UTE in the Erste Liga.
Kris was with the Flyers in their second EIHL campaign in season 2012/13 scoring 61 points in his 62 games played. He returned to the ECHL the following season before starting the 2014/15 season with the Trappers. In his 26 games he scored 19 goals and 15 assists before a short stint back in the ECHL and then a return to Poland before retiring at the end of that season.
Known as the Destil Trappers in season 2008/09 Nico played one season for them recording 9+21 in his 56 games. Flyer picked up Nico after the start of the 2014/15 season when he moved from Poland and made 34 appearances whilst scoring twice and registering 13 assists.
Justin played the 1998/99 season in Fife after playing in the WHL for the previous two seasons. The then 21 year old played 48 games scoring 2+8 but lead the team with a 116 PiMS. A couple of seasons with the Milton Keynes Kings followed before he moved to the Netherlands to play out the next ten seasons and as a dual passport holder went on to represent the Dutch National team. He played for two seasons in Tilburg, 2004/05 as the Diamant Trappers and then the following season as Destil and from his 71 games he scored 7+49
Jeff also played for the Trappers at the same time as Bekkering. Three seasons from 2003-04, the season prior to that he played a handful of games, four to be more precise, for the Flyers on a tryout basis where he logged three assists. He also played for the Newcastle Vipers and the Solihull MK Kings that season. For the Trappers he registered 87 goals and 80 assists in his 128 appearances.
The scoring sensation that was Steve Gatzos played for the Flyers for 17 games in season 1990/91 after joining up in October following the collapse of Fife’s second Czech experiment under coach Milan Figala. He banged in four goals on his debut and amassed 53 points with 29+24 before departing after Christmas from what was fast becoming a sinking ship with Flyers heading for relegation. He returned to North America but his career was by that time pretty much over. Three years before he was with the Trappers for a season and played alongside current Trappers Head Coach Doug Mason scoring 112 points in his 36 games.
American born Hudson arrived in Scotland in 1949 as a 20 year old and played six seasons with the Dunfermline Vikings and then a season with the Falkirk Lions. He then went south and played for the Harringay Racers and Nottingham Panthers before seeing out the 1950’s with Bolzano in Italy. During the 1960’s Gerry had a number of brief spells with the Flyers commencing with the team that returned hockey to Kirkcaldy in the 1962/63 season. He then went off to coach in Vienna and shortly afterwards he spent some time with Tilburg during season 1964/65. The following season he returned to Fife as player-coach and ended the season as the Mirror of Merit winners. He returned to Italy to coach again although he did make a few appearances for the Flyers late in the 1968/69 season.
Ray played three seasons post war with the Harringay Greyhounds before he joined the Flyers for the 1949/50 season. The following season he played for both the Flyers and Harringay who were now called the Racers. Season 1951/52 he started with the Tilburg Trappers before returning to Fife in March for the remainder of the season. He also played for the Ayr Raiders and Falkirk Lions afterwards before taking up a coaching role in Switzerland.
A final nice connection between the Flyers and the Trappers is that we both celebrate being 85 years young this season with the Trappers playing their first match on October 21st 1938 a matter of three weeks after the Flyers opened their account.
CSM Corona Brasov have not been around quite as long having been founded in 2007 and so naturally the number of player connections are fewer, all of whom played for Fife in the EIHL era.
An Introduction to CSM Corona Brasov
Brașov hockey team plays in Erste Liga and Romanian Hockey League. The team history starts in 2007, when the team played for the first time in the Romanian Hockey League under the name Sport Club Municipal Fenestela 68. In 2009 they started to play in Erste Liga. It is the only hockey team of Brasov, a beautiful mountain city with a population of 237,589 inhabitants.
Brașov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 km (103 mi) north of Bucharest and 380 km (236 mi) from the Black Sea. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the historical region of Transylvania. Nearby it lies Bran castle, surrounded by numerous legends involving Dracula!
The home of Corona Brasov is the Olympic Brasov Rink, a venue with 2000 seats, that gets full game by game as the hockey team is one of the most loved sport teams in Brasov.
Chase returns to the Wolves this year for his third consecutive season. 33 goals and 38 assists from 56 games had him top the points charts last term following on from 25+21 in only 26 games the previous season. In between leaving Fife and joining Brasov Chase had a season in the German third tier with Deggendorfer putting up 16+27 in his 31 games. He spent four seasons with the Flyers and helped them to their only silverware so far in the EIHL when they won the Gardiner Conference in season 2017/18 when he was second in team points. In total he scored 80 goals and recorded 84 assists in his 210 games for Fife.
When Carlo left the Flyers after the pandemic shortened 2019/20 season he returned to Europe the following year and signed for Brasov. It was quite the season for Brasov who won both the Erste Liga and Romanian league titles and narrowly lost out in the Erste Liga playoff Final. In 69 games Carlo recorded 33 goals and 43 assists. The season after Carlo moved to Italy before retiring in 2022. Another member of the Gardiner Conference winning team Carlo provided Flyers fans with many memorable moments in his four seasons and currently holds the honour of being the Flyers top points scorer in all EIHL competitions with 210 points. His 88 goals and 122 assists leads in both categories.
Evan joined the Flyers for the 2018/19 season after having previously played part of the previous season with Corona and also the Milton Keynes Lightning in the EIHL. He registered 2 goals and 8 assists in his 35 games in the Romanian and Erste Liga before heading to the Kings. He suffered a concussion late in the season playing in Fife and in his 45 games recorded a 5+14. The following season he spent in Europe with French side Briancon before retiring.