The St. Louis Blues have hired former Stars head coach Jim Montgomery 10 months after Dallas fired him for unprofessional conduct. The 51-year-old coach was dismissed for behavior inconsistent with "core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League," general manager Jim Nill said at the time.
The reasoning behind Montgomery's firing was not clear immediately after its announcement, but the coach later revealed in January that he was battling alcohol abuse and had sought treatment. He described his firing as a "wake-up call."
"Sometimes it takes an unbearable consequence in your life to happen to have an unbelievable breakthrough, and that's the way I look at it," Montgomery said in a video interview the Blues posted Wednesday. "I'm just very thankful for what happened because now I'm a much better person every day and obviously a better husband, father and son."
The Stars replaced Montgomery with interim coach Rick Bowness, who has since taken the team to the Stanley Cup Final. The new Blues assistant wished his former team the best of luck adding "I'm not with them because of my own actions."
The ex-Dallas coach replaces Marc Savard, who left St. Louis after one season to return to his family in Canada. It's Montgomery's first assistant coaching gig of his career, having served as head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League, where he won two championships, and the University of Denver, where he won a national title. He went 43-32-7 in his only full season and lost in the second round of the playoffs to his new team.