Buffalo Sabres Add Gwinnett Gladiators as ECHL Affiliate

Georgia is on the minds of Hockey Heaven.

Based in Duluth, Georgia, the “Gwinnett Gladiators” have been named the new ECHL affilate of the Buffalo Sabres. Interestingly enough, the Gladiators became affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes on August 17, whose AHL team is the Sabres’ recently orphaned Portland Pirates. Buffalo and Phoenix will now embark on a shared affiliation.

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Another stabby logo to adore.

From the Glad’s website:

“We’re very excited to share in an affiliation with Gwinnett,” Buffalo Sabres Director of Amateur Scouting Kevin Devine said. “We take pride in building our team with competitive players from our minor league affiliates and Gwinnett will provide us with even more opportunity to succeed in developing young talent.”

The Gladiators have fielded 156 call-ups that have involved 112 players over the first eight seasons the team has been based in Gwinnett. The Gladiators have had at least 22 player call-ups to the American Hockey League in each of the past four seasons. During the 2009-10 season, Gwinnett saw a record 28 call-ups to the AHL, while the 23 call-ups last season were the second most in team history.

“Buffalo is an appealing affiliate to us for many reasons,” said (Gladiators President Steve) Chapman. “They have always been an organization that builds within their own system. The new ownership in Buffalo supports the philosophy of building from within. In addition, Wrobo’s (John Wroblewski) relationship with Ron Rolston, the head Coach in Rochester, cemented the connection. We’re looking forward to beginning a strong relationship with the Sabres of developing talented players and upstanding individuals.”

The Gladiators are members of the 20-team ECHL, America’s Premier “AA” Hockey League and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, GA.

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Nice!

From Wiki:

The franchise originated as the Mobile Mysticks in 1995. The team suspended operations in 2002 and moved to Duluth in 2003.They have qualified for the Kelly Cup playoffs for six out of their eight seasons of play as the Gladiators. They were the South Division and Eastern Conference champions in 2006, falling one game to four to the Alaska Aces in the finals.

Looks like we’re not the only team in Hockey Heaven now hungry as Hell for a championship (for them, it’s the “Kelly Cup,” named after Patrick J. Kelly, the league’s first commissioner).

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Go get it, boys.

Follow them on the Twitter at @gwtgladiators, and on the Facebook, here. UPDATE: on the Twitter, you can also find Head Coach John Wroblewski at @CoachWrobo and broadcaster/media guy Dustin Bixby at @dustinbixby.

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"Wrobo." I like that.

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Welcome back home.

 

Go Glads.

Go Amerks.

Go Sabres.

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