Atlanta Gladiators

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Atlanta Gladiators
2016–17 ECHL season
AtlantaGladiators.png
City Duluth, Georgia
League ECHL
Conference Eastern
Division South
Founded 1995
Home arena Infinite Energy Arena
Colors Garnet, Gold, Black, White
                   
General manager Joe Gelderman
Head coach Andy Brandt
Affiliates Boston Bruins (NHL)
Providence Bruins (AHL)
Website www.atlantagladiators.com
Franchise history
1995–2002 Mobile Mysticks
2003–2015 Gwinnett Gladiators
2015–present Atlanta Gladiators
Championships
Division Championships 3 (2005–06, 2011–12, 2012–13)
Conference Championships 1 (2005–06)

The Atlanta Gladiators are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in Duluth, Georgia (in the Atlanta metropolitan area). The Gladiators play in the South Division of the ECHL's Eastern Conference. The Gladiators play their home games at the Infinite Energy Arena.

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 9 out of their 12 seasons of play as the Gladiators. They were the South Division and American Conference champions in 2006, falling one game to four to the Alaska Aces in the finals.

On August 6, 2015, the Gladiators announced a two-year affiliation deal with the Boston Bruins and their AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins.[1] On September 9, 2015, the Gladiators announced they were changing their name from the Gwinnett Gladiators to the Atlanta Gladiators.[2]

History[edit]

Inception[edit]

Main article: Mobile Mysticks

The franchise originated as the Mobile Mysticks who played in Mobile, Alabama from 1995 to 2002. It suspended operations in 2002 due to declining attendance.

Birth of the Gladiators[edit]

The franchise moved to Gwinnett County in 2003 and was rebranded the Gladiators. Jeff Pyle—who served as the team's head coach starting in 1998, when they were still the Mysticks—remained with the franchise.

The Gladiators made an appearance in the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals, losing to the Alaska Aces in five games.

Original Gwinnett Gladiators logo, used from 2003 until 2015.

On July 13, 2011, Pyle was named head coach of the American Hockey League's Texas Stars.[3] The Gladiators announced on August 3, 2011, that John Wroblewski, former assistant coach for the Wheeling Nailers, had been selected to take Pyle's place as the team's head coach. The Gladiators won the ECHL South Division in the two years of Wrobelski's tenure.[4]

On August 7, 2013, Wroblewski was hired by the AHL's Rochester Americans as an assistant coach. Rick Emmett, a former defenseman for the Gladiators, took over as head coach.[5]

Change in Regime[edit]

Emmett was relieved of his duties as Head Coach on December 2nd, 2014. At the time, Assistant Coach, and former Gladiator Team Captain & Forward, Andy Brandt was named the Interim Head Coach. [6] Brandt would remain the Interim HC through the remainder of the 14-15 season before being named to Head Coach on March 21, 2015. [7] Former Valpellice Bulldogs Head Coach Mike Flanagan also joined the coaching staff in December of 2014, serving as the team's Assistant Coach. [8]

Rebranding as Atlanta Gladiators[edit]

On September 9, 2015, the Gladiators organization announced that they would be known as the Atlanta Gladiators going forward. [9] As part of the name change, the Gladiators updated their “primary” and “wordmark” logos to reflect the Atlanta designation. The rest of the Gladiators logos remained the same, as did the team colors.

"We are very excited to announce that our name will transform to the Atlanta Gladiators with the 2015-2016 season,” said Gelderman. “We already consider ourselves to be part of the Atlanta sports landscape, and given the absence of NHL hockey in the area we want to make sure people understand that we are not just Gwinnett’s hockey team. We are the professional hockey team for all of the metro Atlanta community." - Gladiators General Manager and Vice President of Business Operations Joe Gelderman

Affiliations[edit]

The Gladiators served as the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers and their AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves from their inception in 2003 until 2011, when the Thrashers franchise moved to Winnipeg and the Gladiators ended their affiliation with the franchise. The team also served as an affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2008–09 season and for the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2009–10 season.[10][11]

On August 17, 2011, the Gladiators announced their affiliation with the Phoenix Coyotes and the Portland Pirates for the 2011–12 season.[12] They later announced an affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres, and their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.[13] That affiliation lapsed at the end of the 2011–12 season, leaving the Gladiators affiliated exclusively with Phoenix for the 2012–13 season.[14] The Gladiators would carry that affiliation through the end of the 2014-2015 season.

On August 6, 2015, the Gladiators announced a two-year affiliation deal with the Boston Bruins and their AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins.[1]

Recent seasons[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Gladiators. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Atlanta Gladiators seasons.

Regular Season Playoffs
Season GP W L OTL SOL Pts GF GA Standing Year 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Kelly Cup
2011–12 72 41 20 7 4 93 214 200 1st, South 2012 L, 1–3, SC
2012–13 72 43 26 2 1 89 211 191 1st, South 2013 W, 4–0, SC L, 2–4, CIN
2013–14 72 29 38 3 2 63 203 227 5th, South 2014 Out of playoffs
2014–15 72 20 45 3 4 47 174 263 7th, East 2015 Out of playoffs
2015–16 72 34 31 5 2 75 189 224 4th, South 2016 Out of playoffs

Current roster[edit]

Updated July 21, 2016.[15][16]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
18 United States Bahntge, DanielDaniel Bahntge RW R 25 2015 Westlake, Ohio Gladiators
17 Canada Nesbitt, DerekDerek Nesbitt (C) RW L 34 2015 Egmondville, Ontario Gladiators
United States Seidel, MikeMike Seidel RW R 28 2016 Chicago, Illinois Gladiators

Notable players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bruins and Gwinnett Gladiators Enter into ECHL Affiliation Relationship". Boston Bruins. August 6, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Glads Become ATL Gladiators". AtlantaGladiators.com. Atlanta Gladiators. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ Press release (July 13, 2011). "Gwinnett's Pyle named head coach of AHL's Texas Stars". ECHL. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ Press release (August 3, 2011). "Wroblewski named Gladiators head coach". ECHL. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Emmett Named Head Coach". Gwinnett Gladiators. August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Official Website - Gwinnett Gladiators". www.atlantagladiators.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Official Website - Gwinnett Gladiators". www.atlantagladiators.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  8. ^ "Official Website - Gwinnett Gladiators". www.atlantagladiators.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Official Website - Atlanta Gladiators". www.atlantagladiators.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  10. ^ Michael Wagner (December 28, 2008). "Chicago Blackhawks Name Gwinnett Gladiators Their New ECHL Affiliate". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  11. ^ Bart Logan (August 25, 2009). "Blue Jackets & Gladiators Become ECHL affiliates". firethecannon.com. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  12. ^ Press release (August 17, 2011). "Glads sign affiliation agreement with Phoenix". Gwinnett Gladiators. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ Press Release (September 20, 2011). "Second Affiliate Added". Gwinnett Gladiators. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ Press release (August 7, 2012). "Glads back with Phoenix". Gwinnett Gladiators. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Official Site - Atlanta Gladiators: Team Roster". 2016-07-14. Retrieved 2016-07-14. 
  16. ^ "Atlanta Gladiators Roster". Elite Prospects. 2016-07-14. Retrieved 2016-07-14. 

External links[edit]