On Friday, former Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery released his first public comments since being fired for "unprofessional conduct" on Dec. 10, 2019. In his statement he notes that he is now entering rehabilitation after struggling with alcohol abuse. 

Montgomery described the firing as a "wake-up call" but also agreed with the decision. He apologized to the team and his family for his actions and is focusing on seeking help going forward.

He said:

"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. The team's decision to end my role forced me to look into the mirror and decide whether I wanted to continue living a damaging lifestyle or get help. I decided to get help. I turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counseling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone. Today, with the unconditional support of my wife and family, and many close friends, I took another step forward by admitting myself into an inpatient residential program, where I intend to take the steps to be a better husband, father, friend, coach and mentor – one day at a time. It's a process I am committed to. As I do this, I ask that my family's privacy be respected. Thanks, Monty."

Stars general manager Jim Nill responded to the statement saying, "We are supportive of this decision by Jim and we hope that by pursuing this help, he and his family will be stronger for it," He told the Dallas Morning News, "Out of respect for him and his family, we will not be commenting on this situation further."

The team previously noted that his firing did not come with a criminal investigation and no Stars employees were involved. The reason being the firing is now more clear with the latest news from Montgomery. 

The 50-year-old had two years remaining on his contract and was in his second season with the team. Each year left on the deal was worth $1.6 million, but the team is not responsible for paying it out because the firing came with cause and was not performance-based. 

In 2008, Montgomery was arrested for a DUI in Florida. Dallas was aware of this incident when they hired him. 

Interim coach Rick Bowness has helped lead the team to third place in the Central Division and the team has gone 6-3-1 with him in charge.