Jimmy Montgomery is not coming to Orono to coach the University of Maine hockey team. There. It’s been said.
In case you have been living under a rock, the former Black Bear captain and 1993 national champion was iced by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
According to an NHL.com report, Montgomery was let go due to “unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League.”
No sooner did that news break than the “Get Jimmy on the next plane to Orono” hot takes scorched throughout Black Bear Nation.
First of all, Orono doesn’t even have an airport. Unless Montgomery’s plane was going to touch down on Morse Field, there’s no way he can be put on the next plane to Orono. Although Bangor has a pretty darn nice airport.
Second of all, does anybody really believe Montgomery, who won a national championship at the University of Denver prior to taking the Stars’ job, is going to come back to UMaine to rebuild a program mired in mediocrity?
Sorry, but that would be like Bill Belichick ditching the New England Patriots in favor of dumpster fires in Cleveland, Miami or Dallas. It would be akin to Brad Stevens hopping on the Acela with a contract to coach the sad-sack New York Knicks in his lap.
Ohh, and third of all, UMaine has a coach.
Like him or not, Black Bear Fans had better get used to Red Gendron behind the bench. His contract isn’t up until the end of the 2020-21 season, and unless the Black Bears collapse to the point where they miss this season’s Hockey East tournament, Gendron will at least coach out his deal.
UMaine had its chance to hire its former Captain once former coach Tim Whitehead was relieved of his duties in 2013. But the institution missed the boat, and the rest is history. So what makes you think Montgomery is going to come to Orono now?
There’s no doubt Montgomery’s natural hat trick in the 1993 national championship game to cement the 42-1-2 season will live in the lore of Black Bear Nation forever. There’s also no doubt Montgomery is an outstanding coach.
But let’s be realistic. The Montgomery coaching at UMaine ship has sailed, that puck has been iced, and those Zamboni doors have been closed.
BY RYAN MCLAUGHLIN