A native of San Jose, California, Nick Gialdini begins his third season as the video coach and hockey operations assistant for the Barracuda after serving in various capacities within the Sharks organization for the last 10+ years. SJBarracuda.com sat down with Gialdini recently to ask him a few questions as a part of the offseason staff spotlight series.
How long have you been with the organization?
I worked for the Sharks scouting department for two years as a part-time employee and then officially full-time with the Barracuda going on three years, but I worked for the company for 10 years before that. I worked at Sharks Ice as a staff coach, high school hockey coordinator and Jr. Sharks Coach. I’ve done everything here but maybe drive a Zamboni.
Did you always envision yourself working in pro sports?
Yeah, hockey has kind of always been my dream. I knew I wasn’t going to get that far as a player so the next best option was to be involved on the administrative side.
Was scouting and coaching the goal?
The scouting role opened my eyes to what video can offer for a coaching staff, so after that experience, I found out what options I had. I also found out how important the hockey administration side is to the operation of the organization. Luckily my job fits multiple roles for me moving forward.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
For me, it’s rewarding when things go right, in regards to travel. When everything clicks together, that’s nice. Also, being with an American League team and seeing our guys go up and make an impact with the NHL club, that's rewarding because it means we’re doing a good job grooming them with our team.
Describe your relationship with the rest of the coaching staff and how the multiple hats you wear blends within their roles?
It’s a lot of communication back and forth with video needs, player needs, travel needs, communication from management to them goes through me at times, so it’s a really close working relationship.
Growing up in San Jose as a Sharks fan, what are some of your earliest and fondest memories of the team?
Playoff games always stick out. How loud they were, the energy in the building. It’s nice to be part of the organization now and still seeing and feeling the energy in the building.
How’d you initially get involved in the sport of hockey?
My mom entered me into a street/roller hockey league when I was around five. So we were in parking lots playing with the old plastic black pads. From there I fell in love with the game.
After street hockey, where did your playing career go?
Lots of house and high school league. I had a couple of seasons of travel with the Blackhawks and Jr. Sharks and then when I got to college I played for San Jose State, and we got to Nationals the year I played which was a really fun experience.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
Probably my parents for allowing me to play hockey for all these years. Carting me to and from the rink and making sure I have all the equipment I need. My wife has been extremely supportive since I got my current role with the team and all the travel and long hours. I’ve got a pretty good support staff behind me.
The most intriguing part of working in sports for many fans is the interaction with the players, how have those relationships developed over the years for you?
Working with the players is one of the best parts of my job. They’ll come to me to see specific plays from last night’s game or some statistical stuff, faceoffs and what not, so it’s very rewarding for players to be interested in those types of areas because I know they want to improve and I’m able to provide them with the tools they need.