Caggiano gains ECHL approval

February 28, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

Bandits owner Mike Caggiano gained approval for an expansion franchise to begin play next season in the East Coast Hockey League and signed a one-year lease to have the yet-to-be-named team play its games in the 6,000-seat Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

The ECHL plays a 70-game schedule beginning in mid-October. League rules dictate a $200,000 salary cap per team. The ECHL, the largest minor league in professional sports, will have 25 teams competing in the 1997-98 season.

"This does not affect the Baltimore [American Hockey League] franchise at all. As a matter of fact, it should help it," said Caggiano. "In the [East] Coast league, you have a bigger pool of players to select from. With all the free agents and tryouts we'll look at, we'll be able to control the guys supplementing the players assigned to the Bandits by our NHL affiliate."

The Bandits' two-year deal with Anaheim is about to expire and the Mighty Ducks want to wait until the end of the season before discussing a new deal.

Pub Date: 2/28/97

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