Stars introduce Montgomery as coach, from college to NHL – Tampabay.com

DALLAS (AP) — When Stars general manager Jim Nill started his third coaching search in five years, he took a look at the talented roster that is still among the youngest in the NHL.

Their new coach is certainly accustomed to dealing with youth.

Jim Montgomery was introduced Friday by the Stars, becoming the second head coach in three years to go directly from the college ranks to the NHL.

“I think the game is changing, and in the end it’s dealing with people,” Nill said. “It’s dealing with the younger players, and on top of it, winning, and he’s done that.”

Montgomery was 125-57-26 the past five seasons at the University of Denver, including a national title in 2016-17. As a player, he was part of a national championship at Maine in 1993.

“We loved our life in Denver and I loved my job, and the only way I was going to move from a great position was for an opportunity that was better,” said the 48-year-old Montgomery, who has four young children.

Before Denver, he spent three seasons as head coach and general manager for Dubuque of the United States Hockey League. The Fighting Saints were 118-45-21 from 2010-13, when they won two USHL titles.

Montgomery is a departure from the two first two hires by Nill, grizzled NHL veterans Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock.

Hitchcock, who coached the Stars to their only Stanley Cup title in 1999, returned as their coach for only one season before retiring last month and becoming a consultant for the team. The Stars have missed the playoffs eight of the last 10 seasons.

Philadelphia has made the playoffs in two of the three seasons since Dave Hakstol was hired by the Flyers out of collegiate power North Dakota.

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