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Jim Montgomery a Possibility for Stars Head Coach

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Montgomery is currently head coach for Denver University’s NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey team.

Dallas Stars Getty Images/NHLI

Chris Dilks, of SB Nation College Hockey, suggested this morning that Jim Montgomery is a “strong possibility” for the position of head coach with the Dallas Stars.

While we don’t know the source of the Dilks’ information, what we do know is Montgomery’s resumé as a head coach. Let’s take a closer look at Montgomery’s career to see if he would make a good fit for the Dallas position.

Montgomery has been head coach for Denver University’s NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey team since the start of the 2013-2014 season. Last season, he led the team to the NCAA tournament, where Denver University finished in first place. The team had a record of 33-7-4 for the season. Montgomery’s all-time record with the team is 125-57-26.

Sean Shapiro recently broke down Montgomery’s coaching style and had this to say about him:

The first thing that comes to mind with Montgomery is culture. Media members, former and present players, everyone seems to talk about how the 48-year-old coach has cultivated a culture and built an extremely tight-knit program at Denver.

The Dallas Stars have created a tight-knit culture of their own in the last two seasons. This atmosphere of a team brotherhood is something Hitchcock continued to foster through the 2017-2018 season. The bond between teammates had tangible results on the ice despite the lineup shuffling every few games this season. The next head coach for Dallas would need to keep that connection strong and continue to foster a welcoming environment for the new players that could potentially join the team this offseason.

Shapiro also wrote that:

He’s a player’s coach who has seemingly found the proper line in both his head coaching stops between being a partner with his players, but also still serving as an authoritative figure. His practices are intense, but he finds a way to keep things light.

Treading the line between equal with the team and being the coach is not easy, but it appears that Montgomery has found a successful middle ground at Denver. Montgomery would hopefully continue to keep practices intense if he were to take the Dallas job, while listening to the veteran players and creating an environment that encourages player growth.

Denver’s style of play is known for being lightning fast. This is something that would transition well at Dallas with the top line of Benn-Seguin-Radulov. Shapiro covered Montgomery’s style of play, and stated that:

Montgomery’s teams are aggressive and hard on the puck, Denver often used a 2-1-2 forecheck that was built on creating turnovers and capitalizing on mistakes by the opponent.

In addition to this, Montgomery has built a system with Denver’s team that “when Denver has the puck, they play a very patient possession system and it starts with the defenders on the breakout.” With the likes of John Klingberg and Stephen Johns on the Stars’ current defensive lineup, one can only imagine the intense style of play they could accomplish under Montgomery’s leadership.

Not only has Montgomery coached Denver University to success, he also played in 122 NHL games between 1993 and 2003. During his NHL tenure, he played with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, and, of course, the Dallas Stars. Ten years of ice time under different styles of coaching and with different teammates means that Montgomery understands the intricacies of the NHL and the different team dynamics that can influence on-ice play.

Montgomery as a candidate for the position of head coach with the Stars is not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Last summer, he was in talks with the Florida Panthers for the role of head coach with the team. Despite the Panthers’ interest, Montgomery declined to be considered further for the job, as he was very happy with his position at Denver University.

Overall, Montgomery’s possessive puck play, intense practices, relentless work to foster a strong team bond, and his overall record with Denver suggest that he would be a strong candidate for the Dallas Stars. No Stars’ reporters have confirmed or denied Montgomery as a candidate, but we’ll continue to post updates as we receive them. And it never hurts to know a little more about the potential candidates, right?