The Bruins have moved onto their third ECHL affilate since 2011, entering into an affiliation agreement with the Gladiators of Gwinnett, GA. The Gladiators were the Thrashers affiliate when that franchise existed, and have cycled through sevaral affiliations with various NHL teams before landing with the Bruins for 2015-2016.
The Gladiators have served as a development spot for numerous AHL players, including Providence's own Colin Stuart. Although it's a bit further away than Reading (Pennsylvania) or South Carolina (home of the Bruins' former affiliate, the Stingrays), the Gladiators have a good history and play in a highly entertaining division.
From the Bruins' press release:
"The Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins are very excited to be forging a new development affiliation with the Gladiators," said Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney. "Working with a proud franchise and being a part of the passionate fans in the Duluth community will provide a tremendous opportunity for our young players to continue to grow and help them to reach their full potential as professional hockey players."
This is an area where Don Sweeney has expertise; as GM of the Providence Bruins, Sweeney would have massive experience dealing with ECHL teams when designating players for assignment. It'd be interesting to know what he sees in Gwinnett as a spot for development over South Carolina.