Stars new coach, Jim Montgomery’s comments raises some concern about the Rangers

Gorton (M. Dwyer/AP)

As the Rangers search for a new coach continues, one of the potential candidates for the spot had some interesting remarks. Those comments can be taken in several ways but let’s attempt to break them down.

Montgomery on his decision to go to Dallas

In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts, he had some interesting quotes from the Stars new bench boss.

 

[su_quote cite=”Friedman” url=”https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-follows-leafs-dubas-promotion/”]18. It’s not a secret that Dallas moved quickly on Jim Montgomery knowing the Rangers were interested, too. But why did Montgomery pick Texas over New York? “Out of respect for the Rangers, I’m going to be careful with that,” he said Thursday. “I enjoyed interviewing with Glen Sather, Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury.” Would it be fair to say that Dallas is closer to winning? “I would say that the No. 1 reason was Jim Nill,” he answered. “In our two interviews, he was very confident how to build, how to continue, what he has and where they are going. That was my first question, what are your expectations? He said they want to win, are at the peak of our window for next two-to-five years. It was matter-of-fact, not selling, but what he believes. He’s elite at what he does, no BS, here’s what we are doing and where we are going. That’s the way I am wired, not cliché lines. If we lose a game, I’m going to explain why. Everybody deserves to know why we lose.” He made so many calls to learn about Nill and the Stars that it led to the leaks about his hiring. What did he learn? “The most important relationship you have is with your GM … you’ve got to be on the same page. They told me I wouldn’t find a better person. Every organization has warts, but if you have good ownership and a good GM, you will do well. Dallas has that.”[/su_quote]

There’s a lot to unpack here but it isn’t so much what was said about the Rangers and more about what wasn’t. The biggest issue I have with Montgomery’s comments here is how he opens up with, “Out of respect for the Rangers, I’m going to be real careful with that.” Seems like no big deal until he explains the #1 reason he chose Dallas over NY is because of GM, Jim Nill.

What is Montgomery Implying Here?

“In our two interviews, he was very confident how to build, how to continue, what he has and where they are going. That was my first question, what are your expectations? He said they want to win, are at the peak of our window for next two-to-five years.”

Let’s dismiss any significance to Nill’s response about winning, because Jeff Gorton wants the same. No, the concerning statement is about Nill’s ability to build, and grow. What did Gorton say that made Montgomery not feel confident in Gorton’s ability to do the same? We will never know, but it calls into question what the Rangers plans are this offseason. It certainly sounds like it may have spooked Montgomery.

The other eyebrow raising comment was about the most important relationship you can have is with your GM. What took place in their interview that made Montgomery feel that a similar relationship couldn’t be had? Obviously Montgomery didn’t feel on the same page with Gorton and the Rangers, ergo another reason he chose Dallas.

Like I said, it’s not what he said about the Rangers, but what he said about Dallas and Nill that sends up some red flags.

Other Takeaways

The way Friedman lays it out, it comes off as if the Rangers actually offered him the job. Did they? For all we know it was just an interview and not an actual offer. If you read the entire article, Montgomery goes into the Stars having x’s and o’s already in place. He also mentions the leadership of Stars captain, Jamie Benn.

Is it possible he felt the Stars are simply in a much better position to win now than the Rangers? To be honest, the Stars are in a better position at this moment with Benn and Seguin, but the Rangers could be in a better position for years to come soon.

What do you think of Montgomery’s comments? Sound off below in the comments section.