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Gladiators to Retire Derek Nesbitt's #17 on Special Night

Wednesday, July 13th
Gladiators to Retire Derek Nesbitt's #17 on Special Night

DULUTH, Ga. – The Atlanta Gladiators and Team President Jerry James announced on Thursday that the organization will retire Derek Nesbitt's #17. The Gladiators will honor Nesbitt with a special pre-game ceremony, and his #17 banner will be raised to join the likes of former Gladiators Andy Brandt and Cam Brown as a part of the festivities. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, Nov. 13 prior to the 3:00 PM puck drop against the Savannah Ghost Pirates. No future Gladiators players will be permitted to wear #17.

The former Gladiators captain announced his retirement on Monday in a heartfelt video posted on the team's social media channels (YouTube link). Nesbitt capped off a 16-year professional career with 51 points (18G-33A) during the 2021-22 season. He leads the Gladiators franchise in all-time goals (166), assists (258), points (424), and games played (512).

Andy Brandt's #41 and Cam Brown's #44 are the only other numbers to have been retired by the Gladiators. Brandt ranks fifth in all-time Gladiators goals with 76, fifth in assists with 116, fifth in points with 192, and second in games played with 357. He also served as an assistant coach for the Gladiators for two seasons before leading the club as the head coach from 2014-2017. 

Brown played 211 games for the Gladiators over the course of three campaigns, and he currently ranks fifth in all-time Gladiators penalty minutes with 341. Brown also places third all-time in the league's history with 789 ECHL games played and second all-time with 2,425 ECHL penalty minutes. The former Gladiator was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2010.

Both Brandt and Brown played with Nesbitt while in Atlanta. Brown's final pro season coincided with Nesbitt's rookie year in 2005-06 when the Gladiators reached the Kelly Cup Finals. Brandt skated alongside Nesbitt for the 2007-08 and 2010-11 seasons, and then served as his head coach for three years starting in 2014.

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