Dallas Stars fans received some clarity today on the abrupt and unexpected firing of former head coach Jim Montgomery back on December 10th. At the time, the team would only state that Montgomery was dismissed for “unprofessional conduct inconsistent with [its] core values and beliefs.” Now, information has finally emerged that can begin to fill the holes of the mysterious situation and the club’s vague response. Montgomery released a public statement today, announcing that he is entering an inpatient residential program for alcohol abuse, implying that this led to his firing, which he says was “the appropriate call”:
Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars last month was a wake-up call. It was also the appropriate call. 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. I turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counseling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone.
Today, with the unconditional support of my wife and family, and many close friends, I took another step forward by admitting myself into an inpatient residential program, where I intend to take the steps to be a better husband, father, friend, coach and mentor – one day at a time.
Whether or not his alcoholism is the only factor that contributed to Montgomery’s firing – and it is doubtful that those full details will ever be disclosed – it seems that the loss of his job has inspired Montgomery to make positive changes in his life. His former employer continues to support him in this pursuit as well, as Dallas GM Jim Nill stated today that the organization is “supportive of this decision by Jim and we hope that by pursuing this help, he and his family will be stronger for it.” We here at PHR certainly wish him well in his path toward recovery.
Meanwhile, the Stars have continued to excel under new head coach Rick Bowness. Dallas is 6-3-1 since the change behind the bench and have shaken off the early season struggles. The team is now on pace for a 100-point season and could make waves in the postseason. Bowness, currently the interim head coach, is likely to shed that “interim” tag before too long with the way he has the Stars playing. Both he and the team deserve credit for not allowing the ongoing issues with Montgomery and the subsequent distraction of his firing to derail their season.