With in-person media sessions returning this season the small talk before, during, and after press conferences has made its triumphant return. It might seem meaningless from a fan perspective but these little moments are when we in the media learn more about the humans behind the players and coaches and allow us to share some of their personalities with you.
Gerard Gallant was full of gems from his obsession with Diet Coke to his love of the Zac Brown Band to his favorite peculiar postgame snack, bologna. Like it or not, the head coach is the face of the organization, and learning more about these guys allows fans to connect with the man shown on camera more than anyone else in the organization.
The pandemic struck within months of Pete DeBoer taking over as Golden Knights head coach so those moments to this point have been few and far between, but recently we’ve been getting a peek behind what seemed to be a pretty iron clad curtain. Stay tuned throughout the rest of the season as assuredly there will be many more of these, but one jumped out at me early in camp.
That nugget is his interest in the NFL. As a lifelong hockey coach who is always working during the football season, it caught me off guard a bit that he was into football. But a comment at the media room being empty on a Raiders Sunday followed by a jab at a reporter wearing a face covering that was half New York Jets and half New York Giants (to which DeBoer said “oof, I’m sorry about that”) piqued my interest into his affinity for football.
It got me wondering, have the two coaches of Las Vegas’ major professional sports ever chatted about their experiences? It turns out they haven’t yet, but not because the hockey coach isn’t interested, in fact, quite the opposite.
I reached out because I really wanted to sit in and watch part of their training camp and how they do some of that stuff, but with COVID it just didn’t work out, but that’s on my bucket list of things I’d love to do. -Pete DeBoer
What DeBoer hopes to get out of a meeting with Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden is fascinating and certainly could help the Golden Knights.
I think hockey is heading in the direction of football where coaching staffs are getting bigger, there’s more specific coaching position-wise and system-wise. I’m just interested to see how they break that out and how specific the position stuff is and how much crossover there is from the head coach. That’s where my interest lies. -DeBoer
The Golden Knights currently have seven coaches as part of their NHL staff and during Training Camp there are another four working alongside them from the Silver Knights.
Gruden is the head of a staff of 19 and has been coaching with a massive staff for multiple decades. There’s no question picking his brain could go a long way in helping DeBoer come up with some new fresh ideas.
Plus, it honestly just seems like DeBoer would enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at an NFL Training Camp the same way pretty much any football fan would.
That day seemingly will come, but until then he’ll have to rely on the wisdom another “coach” that’s become familiar to him and the world.
Ted Lasso is a version of where today’s coaching is going. It’s to an extreme but for sure there’s a message in there. -DeBoer
Start putting up the “Believe” signs!