Bandits say different team will greet Bears tonight More lineup changes due with AHL opener looming

September 30, 1995|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

That hammering in Hershey the other night, the Baltimore Bandits want you to know, was an illusion, something not to be believed -- a sense-memory exercise to give the Bears a false feeling of superiority.

Although Walt Kyle testified in his best coaching fashion that the 6-1 loss "gave us a good chance to evaluate our players," the fact was that the lads in spiffy black, purple and white garb were little more than a pickup squad.

"It'll be different when Hershey comes here [tonight], even though we'll be mainly concerned with conditioning and evaluating personnel," said Kyle.

The coach described his and the team's task of readying for next Friday's American Hockey League opener against the Carolina Monarchs at the Baltimore Arena as "a totally different experience.

"Only about six or seven guys we plan on having this season played the other night. Six or seven were in for tryouts and four or five more were from the [lower classification] Raleigh team."

Meanwhile, the parent Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are releasing players to Baltimore from their training camp in Southern California one at a time, and it seems some of the assignees aren't making the trip with great haste.

The Mighty Ducks had more than their share of problems last season, winning just 16 of 48 games and finishing last in their division and conference. Possibly contributing to the difficulty was the team's lack of decisiveness in making player moves.

One of the Bandits, checking out the game statistics in Hershey, said: "Tonight was [the Bears'] third exhibition game," noting Hershey probably had 80 percent of the players who will be performing for it this season.

"The Flyers released their guys [to the minors] early," a teammate said.

The Bandits, a new franchise looking to get off to a fast start in a tough league, need players -- capable ones. They're looking to market and promote a group that has had a chance to learn at least each other's first names.

Come opening night, the team doesn't want its players hustling around looking for apartments and renting cars.

Baltimore's general manager, Pierre Gauthier, said it won't be long now before Anaheim knows what its opening roster will be, but this still probably means next Tuesday, after the NHL's waiver draft Monday. Some players won't be assigned to Baltimore until just a few days before the opener here.

Kyle said he now has enough potential Bandits for tonight "to work on team tactics and to develop the personnel under game conditions. It's another step in the growth process."

The coach said he probably will cut some players after the Hershey game, and others during the week.

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