Jim Montgomery is aware of he might be intently scrutinized as the top coach of the Nationwide Hockey League’s Boston Bruins.
There may be lots of stress within the sports-crazed metropolis.
However the former College of Maine All-American, who captained the Black Bears to their first NCAA championship in 1993, mentioned he’s trying ahead to the problem.
“I went to the College of Maine as a result of it was the primary present on the town,” mentioned the 53-year-old Montreal native. “We had been anticipated to win a nationwide championship. That’s what I wished from day one and what I nonetheless need.”
Solely now his sights are on profitable the Stanley Cup, one thing the Bruins have managed to perform simply as soon as since 1972. Montgomery was formally named the subsequent head coach of the Bruins on July 1, after being an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues for the previous two seasons and the top coach of the Dallas Stars previous to that.
“That’s what the Bruins need and I wish to be part of that imaginative and prescient and people expectations from the followers and the group,” Montgomery mentioned.
“The extra you might be scrutinized, the extra accountability you could have and that chance excited me. The folks care a lot. I like that.”
Montgomery, UMaine’s all-time main scorer with 301 factors, mentioned there’s stress in all places in life.
“It’s important to embrace it. If you’re prepared to work and be ready, good issues will occur.”
He mentioned one among his strengths is his capability to speak, and he realized that from late former UMaine head coach Shawn Walsh and assistant Grant Standbrook.
“Shawn Walsh targeted on the positives. He targeted on what you can do and never on what you couldn’t do. It’s important to let your gamers understand how they are going to be capable to assist the workforce win,” Montgomery mentioned. “From Grant I realized it’s extra essential to pay attention than to speak.”
Montgomery spent the final two seasons as an assistant coach beneath Craig Berube with the St. Louis Blues.
He had been the top coach of the Dallas Stars however was fired as a result of improper conduct stemming from his alcoholism.
He went into rehab and is now 2 1/2 years sober.
Montgomery mentioned his household and pals performed crucial roles in his sobriety by way of their assist and honesty.
“I began to take a look at my historical past and it was clear I used to be now not the particular person I knew. I wanted to alter,” he mentioned. “[Alcohol] may now not be a part of my life if I used to be going to achieve success and be the particular person I wished to be every day.”
Montgomery, who has 4 youngsters with spouse Emily, feels “honored and humbled” to be teaching one of many NHL’s Unique Six groups.
“It’s particular to be part of one thing that stands for custom and legacy. You consider all the good gamers who’ve worn a Bruins uniform and the success the group has had,” Montgomery mentioned.
“At Maine, we couldn’t win Hockey East till we triumphed over the town of Boston due to Boston Faculty and Boston College. It’s nice to be part of a terrific hockey metropolis like Boston.”
Montgomery mentioned he was grateful to the Blues for giving him the chance to get again into teaching and he mentioned he realized rather a lot from Berube.
The Bruins made the playoffs final season however had been eradicated within the first spherical by the Carolina Hurricanes.
“The Bruins achieved rather a lot final 12 months,” Montgomery mentioned. “We’ve got to take care of our success and enhance. We’ve got to be exhausting to play in opposition to defensively, whereas getting extra offense from everybody, particularly the third and fourth strains and the protection corps.”
He mentioned he has been “very fortunate” as a result of he’s strolling right into a Bruins dressing room that is filled with leaders like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy.
Montgomery has been a winner wherever he has been.
The Stars made the playoffs for the primary time in three years in his first season behind the bench.
He coached the College of Denver to 5 NCAA Event berths in 5 years and an NCAA title.
He had taken over a first-year franchise in the US Hockey League and led Dubuque to 2 titles in three seasons.
The UMaine Sports activities Corridor of Famer mentioned it’s going to be good to be again within the Northeast.
“It’s a homecoming. There are a variety of former Black Bear teammates and alums round in addition to school alums who weren’t concerned in hockey. It’s wonderful what number of pals I might be round once more,” he mentioned.
“I’m excited to be again. It’s very nostalgic for me.”