After being courted by the Florida Panthers recently, Jim Montgomery has decided to stay in the NCAA coaching ranks according to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. The former NHL forward has coached at the University of Denver for the past four seasons, winning a National Championship last season by beating the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 3-2 in the final game of the Frozen Four. As referenced in our live chat yesterday, Florida had moved on to other candidates and will continue to wait on Phil Housley to finish his Stanley Cup run with the Nashville Predators.
Montgomery is considered one of the top coaching prospects outside of professional hockey, and according to Chambers received two interviews with Florida and was also in contact with the Los Angeles Kings before they decided to go with John Stevens. Fans of the DU program will now be able to rest easy, expecting players like Henrik Borgstrom—Florida’s first-overall pick in 2016—to honor their commitments to the school and return for the 2017-18 season.
Florida meanwhile will move on to other candidates including Housley. They’ve also been linked in the past to Bob Boughner, Michel Therrien and Todd Reirden, and could branch out the coaching search even further. For several of their candidates they’ll have to fight off the Buffalo Sabres who are also in the midst of a coaching search.