Fired Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery in rehab for alcohol abuse

Former Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery said Friday he is receiving professional help for alcohol abuse in the wake of his abrupt firing last month.

In a statement, Montgomery revealed no details about what led to his dismissal on Dec. 10, but said it was the "appropriate call." He said he has admitted himself to a rehab program.

"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, 50, said in the statement.

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Montgomery, in his second year as the Stars head coach, was fired for what Dallas general manager Jim Nill described as "unprofessional conduct" after an unspecified incident. Nill said it was not a criminal act, and had no connection to present or past players.

After Montgomery released his statement, Nill told that the Dallas Morning News that the organization is "supportive of this decision by Jim."

"We hope that by pursuing this help, he and his family will be stronger for it," Nill told the newspaper.

Assistant coach Rick Bowness, who was brought aboard a month after Montgomery's hiring, was named interim coach.

Montgomery had about a year and a half left on a four-year, $6.4-million US contract. He guided the Stars to their first Stanley Cup playoff berth in three seasons last spring, and watched the team lose Game 7 of a second-round series to the eventual Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

Before his hiring in Dallas, Montgomery was 125-57-26 the previous 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.

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