Randy Carlyle said his goodbyes this weekend, as the now former Manitoba Moose coach and GM prepared to make the move to California. Carlyle will take up residence with Anaheim as he and Brian Burke begin a brand new era of hockey in California.
Carlyle has been a Manitoba fixture for nearly twenty years, first as one of the most popular of Winnipeg Jets to ever pull on the Red, White and Blue uniform and then as head coach of the AHL Moose. From the days of the White outs at the Winnipeg Arena to the tearful farewell to Manitoba by the Jets, Carlyle was and always has been identified with hockey in River City. It had been hoped by many a Manitoban that Carlyle would be the guy behind the bench if and when the NHL returns to the prairie hotbed for hockey.
His time with the Moose has been a productive term as the AHL's western Canada standard bearers increased their winning hockey in the last couple of years. Carlyle's 5 1/2 years of work in Winnipeg, did not go un-noticed by Brian Burke the former GM of the Canucks, who made getting Carlyle one of his priorities upon taking over the Ducks.
Carlyle reminisced about his fishing trips, deer hunting expeditions and those days and nights hunting ducks in the Manitoba wilderness. Imagine the lost in translation aspect of his arrival in Anaheim with his new players, the coach enjoys duck hunting. Now if ever there was incentive for a Mighty Duck to have a Mighty game that might just be it!