The Atlanta Gladiators were one of the first teams to opt-out of the 2020-21 season, which came at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. They lost their affiliation with the Boston Bruins, who chose a team closer to home, as they partnered with the Maine Mariners.
The Ottawa Senators were also a team that lost their ECHL affiliate when the Brampton Beast suddenly folded due to financial complications. With Brampton folding back in February, the Senators had been seeking a new affiliate, and they found one on Tuesday in the Atlanta Gladiators.
“We’re pleased to partner with the Gladiators and to have Atlanta serve as our ECHL affiliate next season,” said GM Pierre Dorion in a statement via press release. “The Gladiators will be the new home for players that are under contract with the team but need more development than the AHL.”
Cary Kaplan, former Brampton Beast President, has stated in the past that he was pleased with the Senators organization. He said that Ottawa offered a “stronger relationship” than other franchises they have work with in the past.
Although the announcement is sudden, it doesn’t look like it will change much of how the hockey club will proceed to operate this season. Fans can expect the team name, colours and players to remain the same in 2021-22. The only difference this season, as opposed to last, is that hockey will return to the capital of Georgia.