The Boston Bruins may have taken the protected route.
The Nationwide Hockey League staff may have employed former Windfall Bruins coach and Windfall School participant Jay Leach to interchange fired head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Leach, nephew of former UMaine assistant coach Jay Leach and ex-Black Bear participant Jon Leach, is at present an assistant coach with the Seattle Kraken, who simply concluded their first NHL season.
Or they may have picked former Boston College participant and head coach David Quinn, who spent three seasons as the top coach of the New York Rangers earlier than being fired a 12 months in the past.
Each had been stable decisions.
However they determined to go together with UMaine Sports activities Corridor of Famer Jim Montgomery, who captained the 1992-93 UMaine staff to a 42-1-2 season and its first NCAA Division I championship and has since gone on to create a powerful teaching profession.
If there’s one factor that stands out in regards to the 53-year-old Montgomery, it’s that he’s a winner.
Wherever he has gone, he has gained.
He’s a natural-born chief.
The Bruins made the proper selection in selecting Montgomery, who spent the final two seasons as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues.
For many who watched the documentary of UMaine’s nationwide championship run in 1992-93 entitled “Out of the Woods,” you’ll keep in mind Montgomery’s speech between the second and third durations of their nationwide championship recreation in opposition to Lake Superior State.
Despite the fact that they had been trailing 4-2 in opposition to an excellent defensive staff that had held groups to 2 objectives or much less 20 instances, he informed his teammates in emphatic phrases that they had been going to come back again and win the sport. There was little doubt in his thoughts.
Montgomery then proceeded to register a third-period hat trick and UMaine triumphed 5-4.
“Wherever he was going to go, he’s going to make that staff higher. He’s that good of a coach,” stated former UMaine and NHL goalie Ben Bishop, who performed for Montgomery throughout his season and a half as the top coach of the Dallas Stars.
Bishop, who retired in December, stated Montgomery touchdown in Boston is incredible.
“He was an unbelievable coach for us in Dallas. He reads the sport so properly throughout a recreation. He is aware of how you can make changes and what works,” stated Bishop, a three-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy awarded to the league’s greatest goaltender.
“He desires to win and do the proper factor and guys respect his competitiveness and his information of the sport. His hockey IQ is up there among the many greatest I’ve ever seen.”
Bishop stated gamers hearken to Montgomery as a result of “no matter he says is often spot-on. They respect his opinion.”
In keeping with a narrative in The Athletic, Montgomery flew to Finland earlier than his first season as the top coach in Dallas to get to know his Finnish gamers.
In his first season in Dallas, he led the Stars to their first playoff berth in three years they usually gained a playoff sequence in six video games over Nashville earlier than taking eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis to a seventh recreation the place they misplaced 2-1 in double additional time regardless of Bishop’s 52 saves.
He was 17-11-3 in 12 months two when he was fired for unprofessional conduct fostered by his alcoholism. Montgomery stated the Stars made the proper determination in firing him and he entered a rehabilitation middle to beat his dependancy and has been sober since.
“Clearly what occurred was unlucky however he discovered the trail to get [healthy] and he’s going to do nice issues for that group,” Bishop predicted.
In his first season as a head coach/basic supervisor with the Dubuque Combating Saints of the USA Hockey League, Montgomery guided them to the Clark Cup title that goes to the playoff champion. It was Dubuque’s first season within the league.
They gained one other two years later.
His common season document over three seasons was 118-45-21 they usually went 20-7 within the playoffs.
Then it was on to the College of Denver for 5 seasons.
The Pioneers made the NCAA Match all 5 years he was behind the bench and, in 2016, they made their first Frozen 4 look since 2004-05.
The next 12 months, 2016-17, they gained the nationwide title and Montgomery was named the nation’s greatest coach.
His five-year-record was 125-57-26 they usually completed within the prime three within the extremely regarded Nationwide Collegiate Hockey Convention the final three years.
The charismatic and interesting Montgomery, who additionally has a fast wit, will discover himself in a fish bowl in Boston like all of the coaches of the professional groups.
Boston is a passionate sports activities metropolis and every little thing is scrutinized by the followers and the media.
However Bishop stated Montgomery is an ideal match for Boston.
“He tells you ways it’s. He doesn’t beat across the bush. There are not any cliche traces. He tells you the reality and the followers will love that, too. He’s a type of guys who’s a straight shooter,” stated Bishop.
Montgomery, a Montreal native and UMaine’s all-time main profession scorer with 301 factors, might be anxious to show himself.
He is aware of he’s lucky to have a second likelihood and that he practically misplaced every little thing resulting from his alcoholism.
Spouse Emily and his 4 kids stood by his facet and supported him in his battle to beat his dependancy and the Blues gave him the prospect to return to one thing he’s so properly fitted to.
However there are actually going to be challenges.
The Bruins might be with out their main common season and playoff scorer in Brad Marchand (surgical procedure on each hips) and their prime defenseman in Charlie McAvoy (shoulder surgical procedure) till at the very least December, and one other one in every of their distinguished defenseman in Matt Grzelcyk (shoulder surgical procedure) may be out till December.
However Montgomery has by no means backed down from a problem.
He’ll deal with it head on, identical to he did in that nationwide championship recreation.
He should get extra out of the gamers he has.