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Bruins reportedly hiring Jim Montgomery as next head coach

BOSTON -- The Bruins have found their next head coach. Boston is reportedly set to hire Jim Montgomery to lead the way on the bench.

The Bruins have not yet announced the hiring, but multiple outlets have reported that Montgomery is getting the gig. An official announcement could come as early as Friday morning.

Boston interviewed several candidates over the last three weeks to replace Bruce Cassidy, who was fired by Don Sweeney back on June 6 after six seasons as head coach. They landed on Montgomery, a respected coach that players really enjoy playing for.

Montgomery, who turned 53 on Thursday, has enjoyed success at the NCAA, minor league, and NHL levels. He won an NCAA title at the University of Denver in 2017, and turned his successful five-year run with the Pioneers into a head coaching gig in the NHL with the Dallas Stars in 2018.

He led the Stars to a 43-32-7 record and a playoff berth in his first season on the Dallas bench. After missing the playoffs the two previous years, the Stars earned a Wild Card spot and upset the Nashville Predators in the first round under Montgomery. The Stars lost a seven-game series to the St. Louis Blues -- the eventual Stanley Cup champs -- in the second round.

Montgomery had the Stars off to a promising start to the 2019-20 season, but he was fired in early December for "unprofessional conduct." He later revealed that he was dealing with alcohol abuse and had checked himself into rehab, saying the Stars had made the right decision to fire him.

He was not out of the NHL for long. The St. Louis Blues hired Montgomery as an assistant coach in September 2020, where he helped run the power play on Craig Berube's staff.

Montgomery had loads of success in the college ranks both as a player and as a head coach. New Englanders may remember him from his four seasons at the University of Maine. Montgomery captained the Black Bears to a National Championship in 1993 and was named MVP of the tournament. He scored three goals in the title game against Lake Superior State, lifting Maine to a 5-4 comeback victory.

University of Maine wins National Championship
University of Maine players Jim Montgomery and Paul Kariya celebrate their team's national championship win over Michigan in 1993. John Ewing/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Montgomery left Maine as the school's all-time leading scorer, tallying 301 points off 103 goals and 198 assists, and is one of just three players to have their number retired by the Black Bears. 

He played for six NHL teams during a five-year career in the NHL, and he quickly got into coaching when his playing career ending in 2005. His first job was an assistant coach at Notre Dame, followed by four years as an assistant at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He got his first head-coaching job for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL, leading the team to a title his first year on the bench in 2010. They won another championship in 2013, which is when Montgomery was hired by the University of Denver.

Denver went 125–57–26 under Montgomery, making the Frozen Four in 2016 before winning it all in 2017, when Montgomery also earned NCAA Coach of the Year honors. After one more year with the Pioneers, Montgomery got his first crack as an NHL head coach.

Now he's getting another shot as an NHL head coach with the Boston Bruins. The B's made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons under Cassidy, and Montgomery will look to keep that streak going in his first season in Boston.

The Bruins will be in win-now mode in 2022-23, with Patrice Bergeron reportedly returning for his 19th season with the team.

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