DALLAS - Former Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery said Friday his abrupt dismissal by the NHL club was "appropriate" and he has entered alcohol rehab.
Montgomery's statement was his first public comment since he was fired Dec. 10 for unspecified unprofessional conduct. He said the firing was “a wake-up call.”
"It was also the appropriate call," Montgomery said. "I let the team's front office, staff and players down.
“More importantly, I let my wife and my 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 said he entered a rehab facility Friday, adding he "turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counselling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone."
General manager Jim Nill wouldn't get into specifics when he announced the firing of the third coach he has hired since taking over in April 2013.
“We are supportive of this decision by Jim and we hope that by pursuing this help, he and his family will be stronger for it," Nill said in a statement issued by the team. "Out of respect for him and his family, we will not be commenting on this situation further.”
The 50-year-old Montgomery was in his second season with Dallas after making the rare jump from college coaching at the University of Denver. The Stars made the second round of the playoffs with their rookie coach, losing in seven games in the second round to eventual champion St. Louis.
Montgomery had two years left on his contract at $1.6 million per season.
The Stars were 17-11-3 when Montgomery was fired, having recovered from a dismal 1-7-1 start by going 14-1-1. They have since gone 6-3-1 under interim coach Rick Bowness and entered Friday's games in third place in the Central Division.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.