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Gladiators get forward Brandt back

Andy Brandt 

Andy Brandt 

Proving that he was sincere in his regret over having to trade Andy Brandt last summer, Gwinnett Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle reacquired the forward’s rights today.

Pyle chose Brandt to complete a trade with Victoria that saw Matt Siddall sent to the Salmon Kings in February.

Pyle had traded Brandt to South Carolina last June in completion of a deal to acquire goaltender Josh Johnson during in the 2008-09 season. South Carolina immediately sent his rights to Victoria in return for another goaltender and Brandt spent last season with the Salmon Kings.

“I didn’t want to lose him before,” said Pyle, who signed Brandt straight out of college in 2007. “He fits in with what we’re trying to do.”

Now, if Brandt ends up in the ECHL, it will be in Gwinnett.

He is going to go to AHL training camp in Manitoba, a team he was called up to for a brief period last season.

The 26-year-old joined the Gladiators after finishing his senior season at the University of Wisconsin and then signed with the team as a rookie for the 2007-08 season.

He played every game, 72 in the regular season and eight in the playoffs, while accumulating a career-high 44 points. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder returned to Gwinnett for the 2008-09 season and again never missed a game.

In Victoria, Brandt had 28 points in 64 games and made two trips to the AHL. He appeared in two games with Lake Erie and three games with Manitoba but did not register a point.