It's been more than six months since Jim Montgomery was fired as head coach of the Dallas Stars for unprofessional conduct, and the 50-year-old says he hopes to return to the NHL one day.
"I'm hopeful for an opportunity," he told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. "I don't control that. Right now I'm just focused on myself and my family."
Montgomery checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction less than a month after his firing. The Stars had reportedly warned him about his public drinking episodes, and he wasn't fired for one single incident, but it's still unknown what exactly led to his dismissal.
He said he deserved to be let go and was thankful for his firing because it served as a wake-up call. He's now been sober for five-and-a-half months.
"My rock bottom helps me. And that's why I'm grateful to the Stars. Because I have my health, I have my family, and I haven't lost any close friends," he said.
Montgomery believes that if he's able to land another job, his sobriety will make him a better coach than he was before, offering life on the road as an example.
"Unfortunately, there were nights where I spent that time doing the wrong things," he said. "That's going to be the time to do the right things now. That's going to just make me a better coach, let alone a much better person."
Across parts of two seasons, Montgomery led the Stars to a 61-43-10 record and a first-round playoff series win. Prior to his tenure in Dallas, he coached at the University of Denver, where he won a national championship in 2017.