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Head coach for the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators, John Wroblewski, right, conducts practice for the team in what used to be the practice facility for the Atlanta Thrashers in Duluth. The sign is still up outside the IceForum: “Atlanta Thrashers Practice Facility.” Not anymore, of course. The Thrashers are now the Winnipeg Jets, and Atlanta is again without an NHL team. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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As NHL season opens Thursday, Atlanta replaces Thrashers with minor-league team

The Gwinnett Gladiators become the new draw for ice hockey fans in Georgia as the NHL season began Thursday night without the Thrashers, who bolted for Winnepeg and marked the second time in the modern era Atlanta has lost a professional hockey team.

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