An absolute river of EIHL signing news this morning:

  • Fife Flyers have announced the signing of two players.  The first is British forward Steve McAlpine, 22, who played 59 games for Fife last season in his Elite League debut.  McAlpine (an appropriate name for a winter-sportsman if I ever saw one) scored 3 goals and 9 points last season with 76 PIMs – he is probably there to provide toughness for the team rather than scoring ability, but maybe he increases his output in his 2nd season.
  • The second signing for the Flyers is 24-year old Canadian goalie Bryan Pitton, a former 5th Round draft pick of “my” NHL team the Edmonton Oilers.  He has spent the majority of time since turning pro in 08-09 in the ECHL, mostly for the Oilers’ ECHL affiliate Stockton Thunder, but also last season for the Bakersfield Condors.  He has also appeared in 17 AHL games, spread between the Oilers’ AHL affiliates the Springfield Falcons and the Oklahoma City Barons.  In both of these leagues he has been a distinctly average to below-average goalie, yet he does have the distinction of being the first Thunder player ever to earn a direct recall from the ECHL to the NHL back in 2009 when he was to play backup for a couple of games for the Oilers.  Despite being not-very-good at the ECHL level, he does have a lot of pro games under his belt and I have a feeling he will do well in Fife.
  • The Hull Stingrays have signed teenager Scott Robson to a 2-way deal.  The 17-year old defenceman will most likely split time between the EIHL and the ENL, but is a promising young player who seems to have impressed at every level.
  • The Sheffield Steelers have signed 29-year old Ontario native Drew Fata to a 2-year deal.  This is a great signing for Sheffield.  The defenceman has a huge amount of experience, having played 321 games at the AHL level, 84 in the ECHL, and 194 in the OHL, not to mention getting a cup of coffee in the NHL for 8 games over 2 seasons with the New York Islanders.  He is not an offensive defenceman, but rather a tough-as-nails defensive specialist, who will most likely rack up the penalty minutes whilst providing sound defence at the EIHL level and great leadership.  Fata was a 3rd round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 2001.

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