By Buddy Pinkston
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DULUTH, Ga. – Why Fresno and Long Beach? Wherefore Bakersfield and San Diego?
Nobody made the Gwinnett Gladiators go out West this week. But they have their reasons.
While their conference rivals are staying closer to home during the final stretch of the ECHL regular season, the Gladiators are gallivanting over the Golden State because they wanted to.
General manager Steve Chapman said putting five California games on the schedule was the right thing to do. Besides, it sounded like fun.
When the organization formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League added seven members from out West last season, franchises in the East were given the option of going cross country every other year.
“I was one of the ones who pushed hard for a nationwide league,” Chapman said. “It would be pretty hypocritical of us if we weren’t willing to go out West and play those teams.”
He also thought his players would enjoy it.