Rangers lose out on Jim Montgomery, Quinn staying at Boston University

The Rangers won’t be hiring Jim Montgomery as the next coach. That domino fell when Montgomery chose to stay in the Midwest and become the new coach of the Dallas Stars yesterday.

The very successful college coach of the Denver Pioneers informed the school he would be leaving to take over in Dallas. Several reports confirmed it.

In five years as the Pioneers coach, Montgomery has posted a 125-57-26 record. He’s led Denver to two Frozen Fours including a national championship in 2016-17 when they went 33-7-4. This past year, they went 23-10-8 making the NCAA Midwest Regional Final.

Prior to taking over in Denver at the collegiate level, Montgomery was a former assistant with Notre Dame and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2010, he was named head coach of the USHL expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints, leading them to the USHL championship over the Green Bay Gamblers by taking the series three games to one. In ’12-13, he won the Clark Cup.

A journeyman who made the NHL as a undrafted free agent, the former Maine Black Bear standout who led them to a NCAA Championship and was named tournament MVP in 1993. His 301 career points were an all-time record at Maine leading to having his number 19 retired.

He was signed by the Blues after college. He bounced around going to Montreal for Guy Carbonneau before being released. Montgomery also had short stints with the Flyers, Sharks and Stars who he’ll now coach 16 years later.

Reading up on Montgomery, he would’ve been a good fit for the Rangers. A fresh face familiar with guiding young players, it’s too bad he preferred to stay close to home. But if that’s what makes him comfortable, so be it.

There’s no reason to overreact if that’s the case. The Rangers want to bring in a coach who’ll be comfortable handling the media scrutiny and fan expectations in a rebuild.

There are still good candidates out there for GM Jeff Gorton to interview. Boston University’s David Quinn would be one and Toronto Marlins coach Sheldon Keefe is another.

UPDATE: Scratch Quinn off the list. He will reportedly stay at BU per New York Post scribe Larry Brooks. This isn’t a good development.

I’m holding out hope they go outside the box for one of those rather than hire a retread. It’s a rebuild. Not a team expected to challenge for a Cup. I want someone who will fit the criteria and utilize our young talent the right way.

There’s still time for Gorton here. He must choose wisely.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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