- Dale Duff Reporting ([email protected])
Former UMaine hockey captain Jim Montgomery is getting a second chance at coaching in the NHL. He has signed a two-year deal to be an assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues under head coach Craig Berube.
Montgomery helped lead the UMaine Black Bears to a first ever NCAA national title in 1992-93. He remains UMaine’s all-time leading scorer with 301 career points.
After his pro playing career, Montgomery had coaching success in junior hockey, then with the University of Denver.
He jumped from college hockey to head coach of the Dallas Stars in 2018, leading the team to a 61-43-10 record.
But back in December of last year he was suddenly fired for what the team called ‘unprofessional conduct’.
“Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars was a wake-up call,” Montgomery said in a statement released Jan. 3. “It was also the appropriate call. I let the team’s front office, staff and players down. More importantly, I let my wife and family down. The team’s decision to end my role forced me to look into the mirror and decide whether I wanted to continue living a damaging lifestyle or get help. I decided to get help.”
Montgomery sought help for alcohol issues and now says he has been sober for nine months.
Now the St. Louis Blues are giving him a chance to coach again.
“Sometimes it takes an unbearable consequence to have an unbelievable breakthrough… I’m thankful for what happened because now I’m a much better person every day."
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) September 16, 2020
NOTE: The Dallas Stars team was won the NHL Western Conference title and await an opponent in the Stanley Cup Finals…His assistant at Dallas, Rick Bowness, took over as head coach. Bowness has Maine ties too. He was head coach of the AHL Maine Mariners back in the 1989-90 season.