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Brandt returns to bolster Gladiators' roster

Andy Brandt 

Andy Brandt 

DULUTH — In markedly opposite decisions, Andy Brandt opted to come back to the Gwinnett Gladiators on Tuesday and Tom Zanoski left to join a team in Germany.

Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle said Brandt asked to be returned to Gwinnett from AHL Manitoba because he was needed more here — especially with Zanoski departing and Tim Miller again getting called up to AHL Chicago today.

“Brando said that he’s more of a fill-in up there and with us losing all the guys, he chose to some back,” Pyle said. “I tip my hat to that.”

Zanoski, on the other hand, decided to pursue what Pyle termed a slightly more lucrative offer overseas. Zanoski was subsequently suspended by the Gladiators.

“He’s going to a team in the second league that’s not making the playoffs,” said Pyle, who played and coached in Germany for a decade. “It’s not like here — everybody is out for themselves. I explained to him that he was making a big mistake. But to be in the Coast was belittling to him. ‘Z’ has always been about himself.”

Brandt, an alternate captain, had two assists in five games with the Moose since his recall on Jan. 17. But he also was left out of the lineup for two games during his time in Manitoba.

“He started to come on strong before he got called up,” Pyle said. “He’s a great character guy to come back knowing what type of situation we are in with call-ups.

“It just shows what kind of leader he is on this team and what he thinks of this organization for him to come back when he could have easily stayed in Manitoba for a few more weeks. I hope our fans really show their appreciation for him.”

Brandt has 23 points in 43 games for the Gladiators this season and is on a five-game point streak that includes four goals and three assists.

Zanoski had 12 points in 13 games before his departure.