The Dallas Stars have fired head coach Jim Montgomery, the team announced Tuesday.
While there are no reported details about what exactly occurred, Montgomery was released due to “unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League.”
According to Dallas general manager Jim Nill, he was made aware of a “situation” on Sunday via a phone call. That so-called situation was not criminal in nature and did not involve any players “past or present that the organization is aware of.”
“I have a lot of respect for Jim Montgomery. He’s a very good coach,” Nill said. “Unfortunately, sometimes in life, the hardest decisions are the toughest and this is one of them.”
The Stars have promoted Montgomery’s assistant coach Rick Bowness to the head coach position on an interim basis.
The organization is seemingly blindsided by this situation and it will be interesting to see any residual effects in the coming days, especially if new information about the nature of Montgomery’s termination comes to light.
“We trust our management and obviously trust Jim Nill, so whatever happened, obviously he made the right decision and we’re going to move on,” said Tyler Seguin.
The firing of Montgomery comes on the heels of the NHL’s announcement of a code of conduct for head coaches and other personnel, so you have to imagine there is a natural inclination to associate it with the higher level of scrutiny the league is employing. Nill’s decisive and swift action on this matter doubtlessly reflects this.
Nill did state, for the record, that there was no material connection between Gary Bettman’s comments Monday and the firing of Montgomery. He noted that the team had come to a decision to cut the coach before the commissioner’s remarks.
The Stars are currently fourth in the Central Division with a 17-11-3 record. They face the New Jersey Devils Tuesday, with Bowness behind the bench.
Photo credit: NHL