Former Stars Coach Jim Montgomery Headed to Rehab, Says Firing Him Was ‘Appropriate Call’

In a statement, former coach says he's joined inpatient residential program for alcohol abuse

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Former Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery is headed to rehab for alcohol abuse and says the team made the right decision last month when they fired him.

In a statement released to The Dallas Morning News, Montgomery said, "Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars last month was a wake-up call. It was also the appropriate call."

Neither Montgomery or the Stars have gone into any detail about the precipitating incident that led to his termination Dec. 10, 2019. The team only said the decision was made with cause for "unprofessional conduct" more than two years before the coach's contract was to expire.

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General manager Jim Nill said at the time that the termination was not because of a criminal act, had no connection to players, past or present, and didn't involve another employee of the team and only that Montgomery had acted inconsistently with "core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League."

Stars general manager Jim Nill announces head coach Jim Montgomery was fired Tuesday for “unprofessional conduct.”

"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," Montgomery said.

The former Stars coach said after being fired he turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for guideance and counseling and found the experience to be "overwhelming" and "very humbling" to know that he wasn't 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."

Dallas Stars reacted to the firing of head coach Jim Montgomery at the team’s game Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.

The Stars on Friday declined to elaborate on the situation further other than to say they are supportive of Montgomery's decision.

"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," said Stars general manager Jim Nill. "Out of respect for him and his family, we will not be commenting on this situation further."

Since Montgomery was let go, the team promoted Rick Bowness to interim head coach. Since Dec. 10, the team is 6-3-1 including Wednesday's 4-2 win in the Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl.

Interim coach Rick Bowness of the Dallas Stars talks with Joe Pavelski #16 during play against the New Jersey Devils in the third period at American Airlines Center on Dec. 10, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.
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