Old-fashioned hockey finds way to Anaheim

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

The union of Randy Carlyle and Brian Burke appears to be a perfect fit.

The new head coach and new general manager of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks share a couple of common traits, the most important of which is the incredible passion they have for the sport of hockey and the importance of playing it the old-fashioned way -- up-tempo, hard-hitting and in-your-face.

Carlyle was officially unveiled as the head coach of the Mighty Ducks yesterday in Anaheim.

Carlyle couldn't have found a better spot for his debut as an NHL head coach.

The Mighty Ducks made quite a splash in the spring (and early summer) of 2003 when they pushed the New Jersey Devils to the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup final.

During the 2003-04 season, Anaheim missed the playoffs entirely, but the future looks bright for the Mighty Ducks franchise.

There is a new ownership group in place with the Samueli family taking over from Disney.

There is a new general manager in Brian Burke who knows what it takes to build throughout the organization and will be a quick study of the new economic order under the new collective bargaining agreement.

KEEN EYE

There is a new right-hand man for Burke in Bob Murray, a respected hockey man with a keen eye for talent.

And there is Carlyle, the fiery new head coach who made quite an impact during his return to the Manitoba Moose last season.

"He just came in right off the bat and set a work ethic we were going to have to follow, or you weren't going to play," said Moose captain Nolan Baumgartner. "Looking back on the last few years, we needed somebody to push us like that. Because he worked so hard, you wanted to work that hard as well and try not to let him down."

Sure there will be growing pains for Carlyle, but he is well-equipped to handle the challenges.

His time with the Moose has been invaluable, as he has seen a wide range of players come and go over the years.

He knows when he needs to give a guy a kick in the pants and when he needs to give a pat on the back or word of encouragement.

And from a player's standpoint, you'll rarely be wondering where you stand.

"He's a tough coach and he demands a lot from his players," said Moose goalie Wade Flaherty. "He pushed us to get the best out of us, but then he'd reward us. He was very good at keeping the team tight. We had a very tight team last year and that's what you need to have success.

"He's a good coach and he's going to have success anywhere he goes."


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