The Gwinnett Gladiators announced the re-signing of forward Pat Galivan on Wednesday and his fast-paced, hard-pressing game is well-suited to the team's new style.
Galivan played most of the last two seasons in Gwinnett while under contract with AHL Chicago and his offseason negotiations were all with former Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle. In July, Pyle accepted a job offer from the AHL Texas Stars, leaving Galivan and several other signed players in a state of limbo.
"At first it kind of shocked me," said Galivan, a native of the Chicago area. "But at the same time, I was very happy for him. He's just like us, trying to do the best thing for his career and move up.
"I wasn't too worried. I talked to him and (team president Steve Chapman) and I knew they would take the time to get the right guy in there."
The Gladiators hired 30-year-old John Wroblewski on Aug. 3 and Galivan has already talked to the new coach several times. Those conversations have Galivan, Gwinnett's second-leading scorer last season, looking forward to returning.
"I know a few people who have played for him and I've heard only good things," Galivan said. "I'm actually really excited about it. Sometimes change is for the best."
Galivan, 25, had 51 points in 58 games for the Gladiators last season. The year before as a rookie, he had 42 points in 46 games and six points in 19 games with AHL Chicago.
It was a continuation of the scoring touch Galivan exhibited in college. He led Western Michigan in scoring his last two years with a collective 78 points in 79 games.
Galivan spent the summer back at Western Michigan doing an internship in strength and conditioning. He worked with some former hockey teammates, but also learned about a number of other sports. It also afforded him the chance to work out with the hockey team.
"It's been a fun summer," Galivan said. "This week the hockey team just started skating two-a-days. The new coaches here are big on getting the alumni back into the system so we've been out on the ice with them.
"I actually skated for the first time this morning. It was tough. I know I'm ready to go weights and strength-wise, now it's just getting back to skating."
With less than a month until training camp starts, Galivan is excited about playing again -- especially after talking to Wroblewski about the systems he plans to implement.
"He's going to be pretty demanding," Galivan said. "Everyone is going to be accountable. He made it sound like we're always going to be coming full-speed. He's very detail-oriented. Everybody is going to know what we're supposed to be doing at the right time."
Galivan said Wroblewski emphasized the need for knowing small details like which hand the defenseman is on the forecheck.
"It can be a game of inches," Galivan said. "It sounds like it'll suit my style and a lot of other guys', too."