Carlyle takes over as Mighty Ducks coach

Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2005

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Randy Carlyle was hired Monday as the new coach of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, completing the makeover of a team that also has changed owners and general manager this year.

Carlyle, 49, replaces Mike Babcock, who left the Ducks to become the Detroit Red Wings' coach.

Anaheim GM Brian Burke considers Carlyle a perfect fit for his own hockey philosophy.

''I wanted to find a coach that matches my intensity level. I hate to lose,'' Burke said at a news conference. ''I know Randy hates to lose as much as I do.''

Burke also was looking for a coach who favors an aggressive style.

''The Ducks will play a high tempo, aggressive forecheck, puck-moving style,'' Carlyle said. ''That's what we're about.''

He spent last season as coach of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL after serving as an assistant with the Washington Capitals. He was also on the staff of the former Winnipeg Jets.

Carlyle earlier coached Manitoba from midseason of 1996 through 2001.

He had a 222-159-52-7 record in five seasons as coach of Manitoba, while the team was in the IHL and later the AHL. The Moose went 44-26-3-7 last season and reached the semifinals of the Calder Cup playoffs.

He also served at times as the team's president and GM.

Burke, the GM at Vancouver when Carlyle coached the Canucks' affiliate at Manitoba, was hired by new Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli last month. The Samuelis bought the team from the Walt Disney Co. in February, with the NHL approving the sale in June.

Carlyle, a burly 5-foot-10, 200-pounder during his playing days, spent 17 seasons in the NHL, winding up his playing career in 1993. He won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1981.

He played 1,055 games with Toronto, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg, finishing with 148 goals and 647 points.

Carlyle smiled and said he thought his playing career would go on forever. In a way, it hasn't really ended.

''Ice level for a coach is the closest thing to being a player,'' he said. ''There's always that feeling that you're involving yourself with the team and you always have the ability to put those skates on and go out there and play.

''That's one of the things I've enjoyed most about coaching, you get to continue to play.''

He will have to make some adjustments to living in Southern California.

''I guess I won't have to wear my down-filled coat and ski mitts, or shovel the driveway,'' Carlyle said.

Burke praised two other candidates that he interviewed for the coaching job: John Stevens, who led the Philadelphia Phantoms to the AHL title this year; and Mike Johnston, an assistant with the Canucks. The Ducks' GM predicted both will someday be successful NHL head coaches.

Babcock led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup finals two years ago during his first season in Anaheim. They didn't make the playoffs in 2003-04, and last season was canceled because of the NHL lockout.

Carlyle becomes the seventh coach for the Ducks, who came into the league as an expansion team in 1993.

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