The two concepts seem to contradict one another.
"Gerard Gallant is old school."
"Gerard Gallant is a players' coach."
Normally, the expression "old school" invokes the image of an intense task-masker, who's tough with his players and demand that they conform to a rigid structure.
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Meanwhile, being a "players' coach" is mostly associated with being a great communicator who allows players to take a lot of responsibility over themselves, as long as they fit into the team's system.
Given that it's generally accepted that the Golden Knights' first head coach embodies both of these contradictory characteristics, we asked general manager George McPhee to describe Gallant's reputation.
"In the eight months of vetting, we never heard a negative word about Gerard Gallant, the person," McPhee said. "He will bring to our club a plan, a calmness as we grow. As a coach, he has been someone his former employers really respect and liked, as a man and a coach."
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Gallant, a 53-year-old former power forward with the Detroit Red Wings, described his approach differently.
"People get caught up in that 'players coach,'" Gallant said. "Yeah, I'm a players' coach. But when it's time to get tough, you've got to get tough. And the players respect you for that."
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Or perhaps we'll let you be the judge.
Below is an inside look into the Florida Panthers' locker room from when Gallant was that team's head coach.
In showing one of Gallant's pregame speeches to his former team, we get some insight into what sort of communication players can expect when playing for the Golden Knights.