This just in, the Dallas Stars have dismissed head coach Jim Montgomery for "unprofessional conduct".
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Read below for the official press release announcement:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that Jim Montgomery has been dismissed as the team's Head Coach. Effective immediately, Rick Bowness, who has served as Assistant Coach since June 22, 2018, will assume the role of Interim Head Coach for the team.
Additionally, Derek Laxdal, who was serving as the Head Coach of the Texas Stars, will be added to Bowness' staff as Assistant Coach. Neil Graham has been named Head Coach of the Texas Stars. He was serving as Texas' Assistant Coach.
Additionally, Stars GM Jim Nill released a statement:
"The Dallas Stars expect all of our employees to act with integrity and exhibit professional behavior while working for and representing our organization. This decision was made due to unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League."
Suffice it to say, there's a LOT more to this story that we expect to come out in the next while. Given the climate these days around the NHL coaching ranks and with allegations laid against long-time NHL coaches like Mike Babcock, Bill Peters and Marc Crawford, you just KNEW that it was only a matter or time until someone else lost their job. Turns out... it's Montgomery. More to come.
UPDATE: NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reports that the NHL was aware of the situation with Montgomery when Gary Bettman unveiled the league's 4-point plan to curb emotional and physical abuse amongst its coaching ranks. Montgomery's situation with the Stars apparently is unrelated though.
LeBrun's TSN colleague Darren Dreger echoed that sentiment and reports that Montgomery's dismissal is NOT abuse related.
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The Stars are currently 17-11-3 this season and sit in 4th place in the NHL's Central Division. Montgomery was in just his second seasons as the team's head coach. He had two more years on his contract.
Given that there are NO claims of emotional or physical abuse levied against Montgomery, all we can do is speculate as the reason for his dismissal.
Montgomery came under fire from Stars fans earlier this month when he made the decision to scratch 33 year old veteran Alex Radulov, but other than that there are no public tales of controversy regarding the sophomore head coach. It's hard to imagine that he was fired for scratching Radulov...
The 33 year old Radulov has eight goals and 15 points in 29 games for the Stars so far this season and has averaged nearly 20 minutes of ice-time per game at 19:47… second on the team amongst forwards.