Lame-Duck rating: Bandits, rest of farm look fallow Hockey News sees no top 50 prospect in system

March 12, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

The latest edition of The Hockey News says Anaheim has the 26th-best minor-league talent among NHL clubs, which should come as no surprise to Bandits fans. Pssst, there are only 26 teams in the NHL. The Mighty Ducks don't have a farmhand listed among the top 50 prospects.

The Syracuse Crunch, in the throes of an 0-5-2 slide last week, had its best player, Lonny Bohonos, hauled off the ice during pre-game warm-ups and told to report to Vancouver immediately. The winless streak continued (0-5-3). The Crunch hadn't won since ending the Philadelphia Phantoms' unbeaten at-home streak at 21 games a couple of weeks ago.

Bandits spoil party

Sports Illustrated (March 3) paid tribute to the Phantoms and the Philadelphia Spectrum scene as the team sprinted to a 23-3-2 record on home ice. Only problem was, the Bandits were in town the night (Feb. 20) the SI reporter was there and won a 3-2 thriller.

A Bandits fan went to the trouble of preparing a Top 10 boo list banner for display at the Rochester game Monday after team owner Mike Caggiano announced he was looking to sell the franchise: "1. Centre Management; 2. The Sun; 3. Mayor Schmoke; 4. Sportscaster John Buren; 5. Channel 11; 6. Channel 2; 7. ex-Skipjacks owner Tom Ebright; 8. Anaheim; 9. Baltimore Arena; 10. Losing the Bandits." This was before the team gave up 10 goals to the visitors.

The South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL have drawn more than a million fans in less than four full seasons. Here's a fact for a lull in a conversation: The longest point-scoring streak in AHL history, 31 games, belongs to Mike Richards of the 1987-88 Skipjacks. Remember them? When Adirondack left Baltimore Feb. 17, the Red Wings were unbeaten in seven games (6-0-1); they're winless in six (0-4-2) since. The Detroit Red Wings are probably pulling out of Adirondack (Glens Falls). Kentucky forward Ville Peltonen is the AHL Player of the Week off his five-goal, five-assist performance over three games. Doesn't a defenseman ever win this thing?

Around the rinks

After saying earlier he had a "deal in principle," indicating strongly it was for the Bandits, Cincinnati Gardens owner Pete Robinson changed that to the Baltimore franchise being "an option" once Caggiano announced his club was for sale. The debt the Bandits carry will be no small obstacle in coming negotiations.

Wouldn't you know it? No sooner is Pete LeBoutillier summoned to Anaheim from the Bandits than the Mighty Ducks set a team record for penalty minutes (88). LeBoutillier did his share with a couple of fights.

After watching the Phantoms record a 41-15-7 mark in their first 63 games, it's scary to contemplate what the Binghamton Rangers of 1992-93 looked like. They won 57 games and lost 13 while piling up 124 points, all AHL records.

Carolina trails Baltimore by four points in the battle for the last Mid-Atlantic Division playoff spot, and don't think the league isn't pulling heavily for the Monarchs to get hot and pass the Bandits now that the city is vacating the AHL for the third time in 30 years.

Oops, missed it: The 37th anniversary of Team USA's getting six goals in the third period to beat Czechoslovakia, 9-4, and win the gold medal in Squaw Valley, Calif., just slipped by. Along the way, the Yanks beat co-tourney favorites Canada, 2-1, and the Soviets, 4-3.

Time flies: It was the second anniversary of goalie Jim Carey's elevation from Portland to the Washington Capitals when he was swapped to Boston after being Rookie of the Year and Vezina Trophy winner while leading the Caps to the playoffs both years.

Pub Date: 3/12/97

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