Former Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery released a statement Friday clearing the air about his sudden and unexpected firing by the team on Dec. 10 .
"Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars last month was a wake-up call. It was also the appropriate call," the statement from Montgomery reads. "I let the team's front office, staff and players down. More importantly, I let my wife and my family down.
"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. I turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counseling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone.
"Today, with the unconditional support of my wife and family, and many close friends, I took another step forward by admitting myself into an inpatient residential program, where I intend to take the steps to be a better husband, father, friend, coach and mentor — one day at a time. It's a process I am committed to. As I do this, I ask that my family's privacy be respected. Thank you."
Montgomery was in his second season as head coach of the Stars and had them playing well with a 17-11-3 record. He led Dallas to the playoffs in his first season, taking the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues as far as they could go in double-overtime of Game 7 in the second round, before falling out.
When the head coach was released, the team announced the reasoning as "due to unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League," which now seems related to alcohol abuse in light of Montgomery's statement.
Rick Bowness has coached the team to a 6-3-1 record in his interim tenure since taking over and the Stars sit third in the Central Division with 50 points at the midway mark of the season.