The Bandits, in the throes of an off-season that resembles the dreary days of the franchise at its inception, took another huge hit in the personnel department yesterday when parent club Anaheim named Baltimore coach Walt Kyle as top assistant to Mighty Ducks coach Ron Wilson.
Fully intending to return here, where he "enjoyed both the coaching and living experience in Baltimore," Kyle suddenly was faced with an offer from Anaheim general manager Jack Ferreira that was difficult to refuse.
"Career-wise," said Kyle, "it's hard to figure which path to take -- work as an assistant in the NHL or be the head coach of a team's top affiliate."
Mostly, Ferreira's hands were tied, Kyle not wanting to move to become Wilson's second assistant after the team lost Al Sims to the head coaching job of the San Jose Sharks, but the GM wanting to make sure Kyle remained in the organization as word got around other NHL teams were interested in the Bandits coach.
Reportedly, the Bandits' coaching job was offered to Anaheim's second assistant, Tim Army, but Army is expected to remain in his position with the NHL team.
Anaheim begins training camp for all its contract personnel Sept. 5, and Kyle and Army will be in charge of things for about 10 days while Wilson is away serving as coach of the U.S. team competing in the World Cup beginning Aug. 31.
After last season's terrible start, during which the talent provided Baltimore was definitely not up to American Hockey League standards, the Bandits began to turn things around after about 30 games as the Ducks made some trades, signed a veteran or two for their affiliate and Kyle began to mold a team that became quite formidable late in the season and during the playoffs.
"It was not only interesting but fun coaching and teaching by the seat of the pants as we weren't quite sure from game to game who we'd have," said Kyle.
Since late in the season, however, the Bandits have lost their top half-dozen scorers and their two best defensemen to call-ups, trades and a result of the parent club not tendering contracts to young veterans.
"Anaheim is going to start interviewing for the Bandit coaching job immediately," said owner Mike Caggiano, "and Jack [Ferreira] has said he wants us to be part of the process. I think we'll have our guy within two weeks."
Pub Date: 7/09/96