After an impressive run in his rookie campaign with the Dallas Stars, Head Coach Jim Montgomery will be looking to improve on that success in the 2019-2020 season. With an organization, roster, and city behind him, the pressure could be too much for the young coach, or it could be exactly what he needs to take the next step.
Jim Montgomery isn’t a stranger to the championship spotlight. In his college playing days at the University of Maine, he was named the NCAA Tournament Championship MVP after leading his team to the 1993 National Championship during his senior year. In his fourth year as the head coach at the University of Denver, he once again lead his team to a national championship of their own while winning the Spencer Penrose NCAA National Coach of the Year award. It took four years for Montgomery to win a national championship as a player, four years to win a college national championship as a coach, so is the question not if the Stars will win a Stanley Cup under his reign, but when?
In his Stars introduction press conference in 2018, Montgomery said he was drawn to the Stars because of how excited their roster was to see on paper. As a modern coach that harps on constant puck pressure, scoring ability and puck possession, he didn’t have to look further than the first line of Benn-Seguin-Radulov to find his perfect combination. That Big Three led the charge for the Stars last season and all flourished in their set roles within their new coach’s system. He is a team-first attitude type of coach and person and brings an upbeat attitude on and off the ice for the players. Montgomery even made a Twitter account just to keep up with his players and fellow coaching staff members. He is all in on adapting to the current NHL’s game and culture.
When he came onto the scene in Dallas, he had to play the year with the team that was already established by the coaching staff before him and was literal inches away from beating the eventual Stanley Cup champions. Just consider what this Stars team could do when Monty can get his necessary pieces of the puzzle onto the bench.
With the great midseason additions in the 2018-2019 season of Blake Comeau and Andrew Cogliano, and the 2019 Summer additions of Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and Andrej Sekera, the Stars Head Coach is filling out the roster exactly how his coaching style is designed for and currently ran. The Stars aren’t just making plans for the future, but are making plans for now.
Jim Montgomery’s quote in May 2018, even before he stepped on the ice as a member of the Dallas Stars organization was, “No one should determine what a team’s ceiling is, whether is it a championship or a second-round exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs, except the people that are in the room. We control our ceiling”. He mentioned two scenarios in that quote, and one of them happened last season. Is the other soon to follow?
Big things are ahead for the bench boss in DFW.