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Gladiators, Fort Wayne make five-player swap

DULUTH — The Gwinnett Gladiators made a splash on Thursday, acquiring forward Bobby Hughes, defenseman Rob Kwiet and the rights to forward Brett Lyon from the Fort Wayne Komets in exchange for forward Mike Embach and defenseman Nathan Martine.

Hughes, 26, was a fourth-round selection (No. 123 overall) by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In 12 games with the Komets this season, Hughes had five goals and four assists. Hughes comes to Gwinnett with 60 games under his belt in the Central Hockey League, 90 in the ECHL and 58 in the AHL through his nine-year career.

The Richmond Hill, Ontario native was a key part of the Alaska Aces offense last season, scoring 15 goals in the regular season and accruing a remarkable nine goals and eight assists in just 11 playoff games for the Aces.

Kwiet, 25, brings more experience to the Gwinnett defense. In 20 games with Fort Wayne this season, the fifth-year pro had seven assists. In total, Kwiet has logged 217 games in the ECHL and 42 in the AHL. Last season the Toronto native split time between the Stockton Thunder, Greenville Road Warriors and San Francisco Bulls. In 50 games in San Francisco, Kwiet amassed eight goals and 19 assists.

Lyon, 22, logged three games with Fort Wayne, four with the Bakersfield Condors, one with the Abbottsford Heat of the AHL and four with the Utica Comets so far this season. In those 12 games, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound forward picked up 55 penalty minutes. The Grand Forks, B.C., native spent most of last season with the Condors, scoring five goals and adding five assists and 179 penalty minutes in 48 games.

Embach, 25, was originally acquired from the Cincinnati Cyclones on Nov. 13 in exchange for future considerations. In 11 games with Gwinnett, he scored six goals and added four assists.

Martine, 25, had one assist in 16 games on the blue line for the Gladiators. His rights were picked up from the Toledo Walleye for future considerations on Oct. 8.