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Gladiators trade MacRae for defenseman

DULUTH - Gwinnett Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle has been threatening to make trades for several weeks now and especially wanted a defenseman.

He got some of what he wanted Tuesday. Pyle pulled the trigger on a deal that sent rookie forward Stuart MacRae to Fresno in exchange for blueliner Joe Grimaldi.

"Hopefully this trade wakes some people up," Pyle said.

In other roster news, goaltender Dan Turple was loaned to Grand Rapids. Turple is under NHL contract with Atlanta, which has its AHL affiliate in Chicago. But that doesn't prevent the parent club from allowing Turple to play in another AHL city. Pyle said Turple left Tuesday morning and he doesn't have a timetable for Turple's return.

"This week, I'm sure," Pyle said of his absence.

Grimaldi is expected to be in Gwinnett soon.

The New York native is driving over from California.

Pyle said Grimaldi was disappointed to be traded for the second time this season. The rookie, who has three goals and 14 assists, began the year with Elmira and was just sent to Fresno a month ago.

"But I think he's a guy that would come here and see it's a good situation," Pyle said. "He's pretty committed.

"He hits hard, which I like, and he's highly motivated."

Pyle didn't want to give up MacRae, who has played well since missing a chunk of the season with a hand injury. But in order to get, he had to give.

"I hated to get rid of Stuey," Pyle said. "But Joe will give us a little more depth because I'm not sure when we're going to get Jimmy (Jackson) back."

Jackson, the team's veteran defenseman, has been on recall to AHL Manitoba for the last two weeks.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Grimaldi has also made two appearances in the AHL this year playing in two games with Rochester in October and one contest with Albany in December.

"He's not coming in to save anything, just to be simple and smart," Pyle said. "In the end, I hate to give Stuey up, but I think it works well both ways. He's going to get to play in way more situations than he did here."

MacRae returns to a Fresno team for which he played during the 2006-07 postseason. He notched two goals and two assists in six playoff games for the Falcons.

MacRae had eight goals and 14 assists in 39 games for Gwinnett.