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Former Stars Coach And Current Blues Assistant Had “Good Interview” With Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

A new name has emerged in the Golden Knights coaching search. It’s a name you may or may not remember, but if you do, it’s probably not for the best of reasons.

I heard (Jim Montgomery) had a good interview (in Las Vegas). I think he is in the mix with Winnipeg and Boston too. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Jim Montgomery is the former head coach of the Dallas Stars. He was abruptly fired from the position in December 2019 for what GM Jim Nill called “unprofessional conduct.”

Nill continuously referred to a singular incident that left the team no choice but to relieve Montgomery of his duties as head coach. It’s still unclear what exactly that incident was, only that it was related to Montgomery’s alcoholism.

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… I decided to get help. –Montgomery in a statement in January 2020

Following the dismissal, Montgomery checked into a rehab clinic in Dallas. He then continued therapy in his hometown of Quebec.

If you would have told me four months ago, or even three months ago, that my life would be profoundly better now than it was a year ago, I would have thought you were crazy. But I see it now. I’m living it. –Montgomery to The Athletic in May 2020

Montgomery was hired by the St. Louis Blues as an assistant in September of 2020 and has been on their staff since.

His record as a head coach was strong. He was 60-43-10 in his less than one and a half seasons with the Stars and won a round in his first postseason appearance.

His coaching style is fairly simple. He demands physicality, hard work, and discipline while also giving the players freedom to make mistakes out of aggressive play. During his time as a head coach with the NCAA’s Denver Pioneers, Montgomery detailed his seven-step process that leads to winning hockey.

1. 50 hits in a game
2. Win 60 percent of our faceoffs
3. Give up three or fewer odd-man rushes
4. Commit to blocking shots
5. Win the special teams battle
6. Win the net-front battle
7. Take zero undisciplined penalties

He said if his team does four of them they’ll probably win the game and if they do five or more it’ll likely be lopsided in their favor. Of course, these are numbers aimed at winning college hockey games, so they don’t translate exactly to the NHL level, but it gives a pretty good idea of what’s important to him.

Hiring Montgomery would obviously be a bit of a risk for a Golden Knights team expecting to be right back at the front of the line as a Cup contender. Both in that he remains fairly inexperienced as a head coach and in the fact that it would take a lot of trust that he would run with his second chance.

Vegas are expected to follow their status quo of continually chasing the new shiny toy in their coaching hire. Montgomery wouldn’t be that. If framed the right way (and having listened to and read many interviews from Montgomery, it would), it could be just the type of feel-good story the Golden Knights need.

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12 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    his formula is not
    conducive to a match with current VGK roster
    unless they have massive change over in personnel. Which FO said they
    were not going to do.

    I will eat my hat and coat and socks if they hire this guy.

  2. Tim

    Arguably the two most important positions on a hockey team are the goalie and the coach and both having drug and alcohol problems seems to be a good start on the 2022-2023 season.

  3. Blitz

    1. 50 hits in a game:
    -This team doesn’t have the grit to get 50 hits a game. In fact this team is so soft I think that is a major problem! So not gonna happen with this crew.

    2. Win 60 percent of our faceoffs
    -OK

    3. Give up three or fewer odd-man rushes
    -Maybe with PETER and his “dman as a forward” strategy no longer around they can do this, but last year was awful. Petra was the worst offender, does he fix this in a different system? Maybe.

    4. Commit to blocking shots
    -They have had success here, but with an injury cost.

    5. Win the special teams battle
    -Which one, the PK? Maybe some hope for that. The PP, GTFO, not with this crew.

    6. Win the net-front battle
    -Hell no LOL, not with this crew.

    7. Take zero undisciplined penalties
    -Ok

    Nice to think about, but don’t feel strong this group of players can fulfill this list in a meaningful way. I really hope it was just Peter’s shit system and a new coach can fix the holes, but I am pessimistic at best. Throw in goal tender controversy and chaos it goes down even further. This team needs more grit, better passing, and another good shooter or two.

  4. Good playing points; he would have his hands full working to achieve: 50 blocked shots; special teams play; win the net- front play. We absolutely NEED to achieve these (lacking) team skills, if we hope to be a CUP Contender. He could be the change we Need to Succeed. The question mark is his past issues. A recovering drinker in Vegas is about as smart as a problem gambler moving here. Good idea, or…not.

  5. Bobby

    noooooooooooooo. Cassidy or Trotz

  6. Vegas will hire the one that makes the biggest splash , whether it is the right one or not probably won’t even figure into the equation. When you have convenienced yourselves you never make mistakes which the FO is famous for regardless if it doesn’t work out it will be someone else’s fault.

  7. Original 6 ✅

    i think the knights just hired Bruce Cassidy

  8. Rick

    I thought Vegas should have hired Montgomery a month ago and said it in these comments at least twice. A player’s coach (almost in the extreme) with a creative offense who cares about the details and process. Of course they hire the shiny toy who, as a bonus, was hated by his players in Boston at the end. He’s pretty close to an eastern conference version of DeBoer. I’m sure the owner said, “wow, I’ve heard of that name, sign him up.” Extremely uninspired.

  9. knights fan in minny

    tsn reporting cassidy is the hire

  10. Obvious

    Only coach that will work for fat bastard and 2 faced foley will be the most desperate for a job

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