The unannounced reason the Bandits lost big-league forward Valeri Karpov to one of Anaheim's other minor-league affiliates (the Los Angeles Ice Dogs of the IHL) is they wouldn't chip in on his salary.
Jon Schwartz, who was the Bandits' PR guy since the team's inception a year and a half ago, is gone, "to seek other opportunities," according to the club .
Eric Manlow, the center on loan to the Bandits from Columbus of the ECHL, was a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks (50th overall) two years ago. He has two goals and an assist in his first three games with Baltimore.
The current issue of The Hockey News indicates the Bandits are not long for the AHL and makes a series of compelling arguments. "We're positive about the whole situation," counters owner Mike Caggiano.
Phantoms pack them in
Step right up, fans: The Phantoms followed up their crowd of 16,484 for a game against Hershey at Philadelphia's Spectrum last week with 13,260 Sunday for a game in which they beat Adirondack, 5-3, setting an AHL record for consecutive home victories with 18.
In between, Hershey had its best crowd of the season (7,769) as the Bears blanked Philly on Saturday.
That same night, Carolina established a league attendance mark when 20,672 showed up at Greensboro Coliseum to see the Monarchs edge Kentucky, 5-4, and the Bandits-IceCats game in Worcester on Saturday drew 11,591.
King traded out of league
Steve King, who scored 40 goals in Baltimore last year, seemed to be having a decent year for the Phantoms (17 goals in 39 games), but he was dispatched to Michigan of the IHL in exchange for Jeff Mitchell, who showed just three assists in 24 games. Checking out the Philly stats, King carried a plus-minus of minus-6, while the team's record at the time was 27-11-5 and most of the front-line forwards carried pluses of between 12 and 28.
Little comes up big
With a 5-1-1 record, a goals-against average of 1.95 and a .925 save percentage, Neil Little of Philadelphia was named AHL Goaltender of the Month for December. Did anybody happen to notice if there was a full moon Jan. 4-5 when five players (Trevor Senn, Don Beaupre, Vaclav Varada, Rob Pearson, and Frantisek Kucera) and St. John's coach Mark Hunter drew suspensions of two to six games for conduct unbecoming to even hockey types?
With much justification, AHL goaltenders refer to the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, N.Y., as the "shooting gallery." No matter what the game result, the Rangers always pepper the visiting net. For instance, Binghamton unloaded 58 shots on Jamie Ram recently, but the Kentucky goalie was an easy winner, 4-1. The World team had to go to a shootout to beat the Canadian squad, 3-2, in the AHL All-Star Game despite a 55-33 advantage in shots.
Opponent: Portland Pirates
Site: Baltimore Arena
Time: 7: 30
Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)
Outlook: The Pirates are potent, having the second-best offense in the AHL next to Philadelphia. The former Baltimore Skipjacks are led by Andrew Brunette, who, despite being called up to the Washington Capitals frequently, is third in the league in scoring with 50 points in 31 games.