There’s a new head coach in Dallas, with the Stars announcing the hiring of Jim Montgomery on Friday.
The 48-year-old has plenty of experience coaching young players, as he spent the last five seasons with the University of Denver and secured the NCAA championship in 2017. Prior to that, he was the head coach and general manager of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League.
Montgomery definitely has a vision for the Stars and that’s a good thing.
“For the Dallas Stars fan, if you can think of an adjective of what we’re going to look like, it’s going to be relentless,” Montgomery said. “We’re going to be a puck-possession team and we’re going to try and make plays everywhere on the ice. When we don’t have the puck, we’re going to pressure you so we can get it back and make more plays.”
Montgomery is the second head coach in three years to make the jump from the college level to the National Hockey League. He was 125-57-26 at the University of Denver.
Montgomery has coached current NHLers like New Jersey’s Will Butcher, Boston’s Danton Heinen and Florida’s Henrik Borgstrom.
The Los Angeles Kings were interested in hiring Montgomery before the took the plunge on John Stevens in April of 2017. Montgomery also had two interviews with the Florida Panthers before they went with Bob Boughner.
“The minute I met him I knew this was a guy that was going to be a fit for us,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. “I believe in his values. He’s a great family man. There’s a lot that goes into this. It’s not just being a hockey coach. It’s being big in the community. He checked off all the boxes.”
Montgomery replaces the departing Ken Hitchcock, who retired from the game in April.
The Stars went 42-32-8 this season and were just three points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. Hitchcock will remain with the Stars as a consultant.
“Ken Hitchcock, what a great career,” Montgomery said. “Easily one of the best NHL coaches of all time and I wish him nothing but success. One of the brightest minds to ever coach in this game at the NHL level.”
And with any luck, Montgomery will also have a great coaching career behind the bench of the Stars.