Gwinnett Gladiators resign affiliation with Arizona Coyotes


With the city of Atlanta preparing for it’s fourth year without NHL hockey after the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in June of 2011, some news came out of Gwinnett regarding the city’s only pro hockey team.

The Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, hockey’s equivalent of AA baseball, has resigned their affiliate agreement with the Arizona Coyotes, the only parent club the team has had since the Thrashers left town (aside from a one-year dual affiliation with Arizona and the Buffalo Sabres). Gwinnett will also be affiliated with the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates.

While affiliations between hockey teams aren’t exactly what it is for baseball teams (Gwinnett can make a trade with another ECHL team without having to go through the parent clubs), the Coyotes did designate eight players to Gwinnett throughout last year.

The Gladiators came to the Atlanta area in 2003 from Mobile, Alabama, and will play their 12th season in Gwinnett come October. 11 Gladiators have gone on to play in the NHL, and the team has had three division championships, as well as one championship series appearance.