The Atlanta Gladitors will continue to be affiliated with the Boston Bruins, as the two teams have announced an extension. The agreement extends the partnership between the teams for another two seasons.
“We began discussions on extending the affiliation with [Boston general manager] Don Sweeney and [Providence Bruins general manager] John Ferguson back in September,” said Gladiators head coach and general manager of hockey operations Andy Brandt. “The Gladiators are excited, and honored, to continue our relationship with the Bruins organization and remain committed to developing their prospects.”
The Bruins became the sixth NHL team to affiliate with the Gladiators on August 6th, 2015, with Atlanta serving as the lone ECHL partner for both Boston and their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. Over the course of the past two seasons, the Gladiators have received ten players from the affiliation, including three directly from Boston. Goaltender Zane McIntyre, who was assigned to Atlanta earlier this season and played in two games with the Gladiators, has appeared in eight NHL games with the Bruins this year.
“The Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins are excited to renew our affiliation with the Atlanta Gladiators,” said Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “Since entering into our partnership with the Gladiators two years ago, we have established a strong working relationship with the club. We have been impressed by the support system; led by their owner Mr. Jeffreys and their VP Joe Gelderman, along with the individual development attention that Head Coach Andy Brandt and his staff has shown each one of our players. We look forward to the continued success of the franchise and thank the Atlanta Gladiators ownership group and the Duluth community for their steadfast support.”
Within the same time frame, Providence has also signed three Atlanta-contracted players to standard PTO contracts – Shane Bakker, Garry Nunn, and Brock Higgs.
“The most beneficial part of this relationship has been the communication between all three organizations,” said Brandt. “We know that the players we receive via assignment are quality individuals. We’ve also been able to provide Providence with players of our own who can contribute to their roster. These experiences are critical in the development of our men.”