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.


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.”Friedman

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.


  • It’s a quick shelf life for new coaches, Dallas has more star power right now so it’s probably the right choice but it also let’s us know that Gorton is not messing around in finding the right coach. If this scared him he wasn’t the right coach anyways. Good job Gorton.

  • When the story first broke about Montgomery taking the Dallas job, he said it was a desire to stay in the Mid West. Sounds like he took the safer job. If a tree falls in Dallas, who hears it. The Rangers need a coach that will embrace the challenge of coaching in the spotlight that is NYC.

  • William R Christian

    As a Ranger fan, I too am concerned about the Ranger leadership. Who is really in charge? If we knew it was all up to Gordon, honestly, I would be on board. I don’t mind Sather having input. I just would hope he wouldn’t given openly during interviews. Gordon does the talking and the decision is his—-then I am on board. Concerning comments on Nill’s leadership, I don’t know, but at least Montgomery seemed to be dealing with one guy and not a 3-head triangle. Of course, he would support his own decision and new boss, I have no problem with that. And let’s face it, coming to NY is a lot more pressure that Dallas—maybe it was not the fit for him and his family. I get that too. And maybe, just maybe, his thoughts on direction of a team just might not have messed with his own. And let’s face let, Dallas is better advanced, the money might have been the same, less pressure, and its easy to pack up and slip back to Colorado from Dallas than NY. So, please Rangers, lets live and die with Gordon. Hey, the swamp exists also at MSG.

  • Haven’t you ever gone on an interview and within the first five minutes realized that no matter how bad you wanted that job that it would never work out as the person interviewing you would be your boss and you each had a different philosophy? I know it happened to me a ton when I was younger and if I had the experience I do now I would have walked away from those jobs instead of taking them and then hating the job and my boss! Not every person you meet in life is going to mesh well with you and you can tell within minutes if it won’t work out. Here’s a case where Montgomery knew it wasn’t going to work and he choose the safe choice…. End of discussion. Not everything is as nefarious as Anthony would have you think 🤔 💡

    • You make it sound like I wrote in absolutes. I took the comments and offered a perspective.

      • No man you said it he definitely didn’t take the job cause he said the Rangers stink and they’re going nowhere. Lol. I’m just joking around of course. I figured why not take a little tension away from all of us nut job Rangers fans. This is a strange and a little stressful time. Let’s just hope the right decisions are made when it comes to the coach and drafting and that the team becomes a real force sometime in the near future.

  • I think it comes down to Dallas being in a better position to win now. I have faith in Gorton, he got Hayes and Vesey to sign with the Rangers when most experts didn’t think that was gonna happen. Plus I doubt he was offered the job, I think Gorton was waiting to meet with the Marlies coach. He’s the sexy pick for coach

  • William R Christian

    I still think if they don’t bye into Keefe, they go European. Could they be waiting for tournament to end?

    • I don’t see a European coach at this time. With the Rangers in a rebuild I don’t think it’s the right time to go after a European coach. The game is completely different with the expanded ice surface. The International ice rinks are 210×95 which is 10 feet longer and wider than NHL arenas. They also move the goal line 2 feet further away from the end boards to allow for more room behind the nets. With the extra room on the ice most teams play a more positional defensive game rather the attack the puck carrier. This allows for teams to have more time to set up plays and be more creative. They are also allowed to carry up to 2 more skaters per game, the NHL caps you at 18 skaters and 2 goalies to be dressed for any given game.

  • Sometimes reading too deeply… An important position that takes time and mutual chemistry to begin a new chapter.

  • This worries me more than most probably. The reason being is because a lot of the decisions that have been made in the past with Gorton and Sather left alot of us wondering if they have a direction or a plan that they want to stick to. It seems as if those fears have been somewhat substantiated by these comments. Going back to the previous rebuild under Don Maloney he had a plan and direction from the beginning. Im not going to stand here and tell you that it was the right plan or direction, but at least he had vision and talked the fans through the thought process. The problem I have with Gorton and Sather is that they are too vague in their explanations. I used to think it was just me being critical, but now it seems that my feelings are shared by Montgomery.

  • Did anyone see McDonagh’s stick under the goalie’s stick letting in goal #4 last night? We tend to over-rate our players. But cleaning house brignss a new breeze. The kids we are bringing in have to bulk up and gain experience. Looks like we are going in the right direction. So, lets sit back and join the improvement. We won’t win anything for at least 3-seasons. Wake up Henri—let us move you to contender with the promise of hanging you number in the rafters when you retire. Then a true new beginning can start.

  • He’s afraid of the big stage

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  • Sounds like a real douche bag! Move along ,nothing to see here!

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