N. Virginia businessman agrees to purchase Bandits Cascione running team, awaiting AHL approval

February 28, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The American Hockey League will not divulge the identity of the prospective majority owner of the Bandits. Neither will officials with the Bandits. But a source said Mike Cascione, a Northern Virginia businessman, has agreed to buy the team from Bob Teck and Alan Gertner.

It could take as long as a week for the sale to be approved by the AHL, which is doing a background check on Cascione. In the meantime, he will be running the team's day-to-day operation.

"I'm confident we can quicken the process because Baltimore is very important to the league," AHL commissioner Dave Andrews said yesterday. The check by the league's legal department and subsequent report to the AHL's Board of Governors for approval of the transfer of the franchise "could take as much as a week or 10 days, maximum," Andrews said. "We realize it's important we assist [the prospective owners] as much as possible."

Cascione could not be reached for comment.

"Baltimore is key for us as is its affiliation with the Anaheim Ducks, particularly with Philadelphia coming in next season," Andrews said.

Any expansion of the AHL points in a southerly direction and Baltimore is viewed as the gateway. "With a couple of teams [Hershey and Philadelphia] close by, that should help the Bandits next season," said Andrews.

"Anyone who makes a statement that Baltimore is not a good hockey town is incorrect," he said. "There's great potential for a team there and attendances at weekend games and on dates before a nonworkday are very encouraging. If a lot of teams in our league had to put up with Baltimore's [heavy midweek] schedule, they'd be having problems."

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Binghamton Rangers

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7

Radio: WITH (1230 AM), WAMD (970 AM)

Outlook: After an excellent start against the Rangers, winning three of the first four games against the division rival, the Bandits have struggled against them. One thing Baltimore cannot do against Binghamton is get involved in a shootout, which it has done while losing four straight and allowing an average of six goals. Pete Ferraro has scored nine goals in eight games against the Bandits and Ken Gernander has chipped in seven.

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