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Sabres have a new ECHL affiliate

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Old
09-20-2011, 07:07 PM
  #1
OpethianSabre20
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Sabres have a new ECHL affiliate

...The Gwinnett Gladiators out of Georgia.

http://gwinnettgladiators.com/site/n...e.asp?art=2057

Quote:
Second Affiliate Added
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Gwinnett Gladiators have signed a second affiliation agreement for the 2011-12 season to serve as an ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League. This additional NHL affiliate designation will be concurrent to the recently signed affiliation agreement between the Gladiators and the Phoenix Coyotes on August 17th. The Sabres also maintain an NHL affiliation with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

"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."

Gwinnett will serve as an ECHL affiliate for two NHL teams in tandem for the third time in team history. Gwinnett maintained dual affiliations with Chicago and Atlanta during the 2008-09 season and with Columbus and Atlanta during the 2009-10 season.

"Having two affiliates could be a challenge," said Gladiators President Steve Chapman. "We could be stocked very well by our affiliates. Gwinnett should have several good prospects, but any of those players can be called up at any time leaving the team short-handed. I know we will pull together & battle during the call-ups. It is a challenge for the die-hard fans to endure the mass call-ups - but that is part of the game and it’s good for the prospects. I think we have the leadership in place behind the bench and on the ice to see us through."

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 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."

Buffalo becomes the fifth NHL team to be affiliated with the Gladiators for assignment of draft prospects and player development. Gwinnett served as the ECHL affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers for eight seasons from the Gladiators inaugural 2003-04 season until the recent sale of the Thrashers franchise and subsequent relocation to Winnipeg, Manitoba in May.

The Gladiators begin the upcoming 2011-12 season under first-year head coach John Wroblewski on the road in Florida October 14th and 15th. Home Opening Weekend (dubbed "Atlanta’s Hockey Homecoming") is scheduled for October 21st and 22nd against Greenville. A complete game schedule and promotional event information is available online at the official team website, www.gwinnettgladiators.com.

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.
Excellent news for sure.


Last edited by OpethianSabre20: 09-20-2011 at 07:26 PM.
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Old
09-20-2011, 07:25 PM
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And the Pegula change and spending continues. Hot damn.

'GULA 'GULA REVOLUTION!

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09-20-2011, 07:31 PM
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I mean... what can you even say at this point?

That's awesome. Just awesome.

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09-20-2011, 07:34 PM
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Same city as the Braves AAA team.

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09-20-2011, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kassian View Post
Same city as the Braves AAA team.


Maybe I'll take in a Braves game and a Gwinnett game when I eventually make it down to Atlanta.

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09-20-2011, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kassian View Post
Same city as the Braves AAA team.
formerly the Richmond Braves...

too bad we still didn't have the Richmond Renegades in the ECHL...Terry could have done a great thing for hockey 'round these desiccated parts....

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09-20-2011, 07:52 PM
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Good, now I don't have to complain about our lack of one anymore.

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09-20-2011, 08:58 PM
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as a Sabres fan in Atlanta (who was also a Thrashers fan), this makes me very happy...if i'm stuck going to ECHL games, at least i get to root for my organization.

This is actually a pretty smart move considering the number of WNYers down here.

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09-20-2011, 09:03 PM
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It's about time

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09-20-2011, 09:15 PM
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Good stuff! I wonder if me asking Ted about an ECHL affiliation a couple weeks back spurned this?
Although, hopefully after Elmira's contract runs out with the Sens and Ducks, the Sabres move in. Would be nice for the Sabres' saturation here to be complete.

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09-20-2011, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac99 View Post
Good stuff! I wonder if me asking Ted about an ECHL affiliation a couple weeks back spurned this?
Although, hopefully after Elmira's contract runs out with the Sens and Ducks, the Sabres move in. Would be nice for the Sabres' saturation here to be complete.
Agreed. Absorb all of WNY/UNY!

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09-20-2011, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jamers View Post
Agreed. Absorb all of WNY/UNY!
Hell yah. I wonder if we could just make a new team even?

Oh and check this out.

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09-20-2011, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac99 View Post
Hell yah. I wonder if we could just make a new team even?

Oh and check this out.
I watched a few of the other videos as well and I gotta say, they seem to have a smart, young coach there. Hopefully I'm not just mesmerized by his Mathew McConaughey-like looks.

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09-20-2011, 11:00 PM
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TyMy57
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how many guys will actually get sent down there?

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09-20-2011, 11:29 PM
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Just freaking awesome. I mean what else is there now before we drop the puck for real?

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09-21-2011, 01:02 AM
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Pegula >>> nhl

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Old
09-21-2011, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac99 View Post
Good stuff! I wonder if me asking Ted about an ECHL affiliation a couple weeks back spurned this?
Although, hopefully after Elmira's contract runs out with the Sens and Ducks, the Sabres move in. Would be nice for the Sabres' saturation here to be complete.
No thanks, the Jackals ownership group sucks.
Gwinnett is a very successful ECHL franchise that cares about developing the players assigned to them, so there's really no need to go to Elmira.
And no, buying a team is not a good idea, as I will explain below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac99 View Post
Hell yah. I wonder if we could just make a new team even?

Oh and check this out.
There is no reason to buy a franchise or start a new one, as the ECHL is just a place where small-time businessmen go to flaunt their wealth at their own expense.
There really isn't much money to be made.

Since AA affiliates aren't vital (they are useful, but not absolutely needed), there really isn't a way to justify the losses in the eyes of NHL owners.
That is why no NHL team owns their AA affiliate (New Jersey did until this season, but sold the Trenton franchise after losses).

That interview is pretty interesting though and this affiliation makes even more sense now.
A big reason why I wanted a AA affiliate was because if injuries struck Rochester, they'd basically have to take a flyer on recalls and hope they stick since it's likely that none of the coaching staff know any ECHL players that well or have any connections (for example, Dineen was familiar with players, like Gongalsky and Voakes).
Wroblewski is already familiar with Rolston and his coaching style, so he can recommend players that will fit his system and can probably also teach players some of the same things Rolston would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyMy57 View Post
how many guys will actually get sent down there?
Lagacé, Legault, Fienhage, and Voakes are all candidates.
Parker and Varone are also if we sign them.
Next season it will be useful for bringing along our incoming goaltenders (Knapp and Lieuwen, I don't see Eidsness being signed right now) and possibly some defensemen if we don't make any moves.

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09-21-2011, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac99 View Post
Good stuff! I wonder if me asking Ted about an ECHL affiliation a couple weeks back spurned this?
Although, hopefully after Elmira's contract runs out with the Sens and Ducks, the Sabres move in. Would be nice for the Sabres' saturation here to be complete.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac99 View Post
Hell yah. I wonder if we could just make a new team even?

Oh and check this out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfb392 View Post
No thanks, the Jackals ownership group sucks.Gwinnett is a very successful ECHL franchise that cares about developing the players assigned to them, so there's really no need to go to Elmira.
And no, buying a team is not a good idea, as I will explain below.

There is no reason to buy a franchise or start a new one, as the ECHL is just a place where small-time businessmen go to flaunt their wealth at their own expense.
There really isn't much money to be made.

Since AA affiliates aren't vital (they are useful, but not absolutely needed), there really isn't a way to justify the losses in the eyes of NHL owners.
That is why no NHL team owns their AA affiliate (New Jersey did until this season, but sold the Trenton franchise after losses).

That interview is pretty interesting though and this affiliation makes even more sense now.
A big reason why I wanted a AA affiliate was because if injuries struck Rochester, they'd basically have to take a flyer on recalls and hope they stick since it's likely that none of the coaching staff know any ECHL players that well or have any connections (for example, Dineen was familiar with players, like Gongalsky and Voakes).
Wroblewski is already familiar with Rolston and his coaching style, so he can recommend players that will fit his system and can probably also teach players some of the same things Rolston would.

Lagacé, Legault, Fienhage, and Voakes are all candidates.
Parker and Varone are also if we sign them.
Next season it will be useful for bringing along our incoming goaltenders (Knapp and Lieuwen, I don't see Eidsness being signed right now) and possibly some defensemen if we don't make any moves.
Terry should definately buy an inactive team like Columbia or something & move them to Utica, they would be a nice addition to Sabres university!!! - right up the road from Rochester too.

Utica has a strong hockey history (former AHL city - stupid Devils) and the city is already planning on building a new arena.

It's time to claim Utica as a part of Pegulaville - I propose the Utica Sabres!!!!



Last edited by Blitz: 09-21-2011 at 06:05 AM.
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Old
09-21-2011, 07:39 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz View Post
Terry should definately buy an inactive team like Columbia or something & move them to Utica, they would be a nice addition to Sabres university!!! - right up the road from Rochester too.

Utica has a strong hockey history (former AHL city - stupid Devils) and the city is already planning on building a new arena.

It's time to claim Utica as a part of Pegulaville - I propose the Utica Sabres!!!!

Can't say I hate the idea. Nice job w/ the uni's. Jfb raises some interesting points, but they don't necessarily indicate that owning a ECHL team would be bad IF Pegula were OK with never making money from it, though his points imply there wouldn't be much benefit to it.

One minor benefit could be enhanced regionalization for his overall hockey empire, perhaps increasing income for the Sabres and/or Amerks over time. The organizational impact seems like it has minimal potential, unlike owning the team's AHL franchise and having it nearby, both of which are HUGE. The ECHL just doesn't seem like the kind of league that is going to have considerable impact on organizational prospects from year to year. I know almost nothing about the league, but the finances seem, as Jfb indicated, to have minimal profit potential.

I'd be very interested in learning more about the league's economics and perhaps looking at a history of NHL players who've been through the league as a developmental path, as well as the movement of players between ECHL and AHL over the course of the average season.

Regarding this affiliateship, anyone who can provide info on this organization, current roster as it stands, new coach, etc... I'm sure most of us are fairly ignorant and would love to know.

For future reference, mods, should we be tracking the season through a dedicated ECHL thread (whether stickied or not), piggyback onto the Amerks thread, or piggyback onto the Prospects thread? I'd nominate having a dedicated, unstickied thread.

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09-21-2011, 07:55 AM
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Nice, if have been waiting for this to happen since Pegula took over . Having an ECHL-affiliate probably won't have too much of an effect, but it shows that we are willing to use every method that might help to make our players better.

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09-21-2011, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
I watched a few of the other videos as well and I gotta say, they seem to have a smart, young coach there. Hopefully I'm not just mesmerized by his Mathew McConaughey-like looks.



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09-22-2011, 04:01 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz View Post
Terry should definitely buy an inactive team like Columbia or something & move them to Utica, they would be a nice addition to Sabres university!!! - right up the road from Rochester too.

Utica has a strong hockey history (former AHL city - stupid Devils) and the city is already planning on building a new arena.

It's time to claim Utica as a part of Pegulaville - I propose the Utica Sabres!!!!

I know some folks close to the Gwinnett group. This would be a tremendous pick up as all the pieces are in place. Great location, great ownership, great leadership. They have always played it above board and dedicated to player development. Solid, positive in the community and as someone mentioned - a way to extend/market the Sabres into the Southeast. I'm sure these are what solidified the affiliation in the first place.

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09-22-2011, 05:31 PM
  #23
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I'll second what topchedda said. The Glads are the model ECHL franchise and I'm sure this will be bneficial to the Sabres.

Too bad that ownership group wasn't in place down at Philips.

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