Monday, April 15, 2024

Jim Montgomery calls Patrice Bergeron

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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Jim Montgomery has a lot of work to do to prepare for his first season as coach of the Boston Bruins.

Posted yesterday at 5:52 PM.

Jimmy Gulen
News agency

But he knew where to start: by calling Captain Patrice Bergeron to ensure the five-time Silk Cup winner would return dressed as the Bruins for 19 years.e season.

“This was my first phone call,” Montgomery said Monday at a news conference to meet with local media, 10 days after he was named to replace Bruce Cassidy.

“I don’t need to go to the locker room if he comes back. That’s the main takeaway,” Montgomery said. “Good control over what’s going on and knows how to steer.”

Three years after losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and two years after scoring 100 points in an epidemic shortening season, the Bruins fired Cassidy after losing the first round of the playoff. Since then, defenseman Charlie McAvoy and top scorer Brad Marchand have undergone surgeries that will keep them out of the first two months of the season.

But most of the attention has been on Bergeron, 36, who will not commit to playing another season (while saying that if he does return, it will only be with the Bruins). He has since told the team he was ready to come back, but he hasn’t signed a contract yet.

We are still waiting for Patrice’s decision. Although the news is positive. “We’re getting positive feedback,” said team CEO Charlie Jacobs. So we are stressing that he will come back and lead our team again next year. »

Montgomery, 53, was fired from his first NHL coaching job by the Dallas Stars during the 2019-20 season, with the team citing unprofessional behavior. He later described the decision as “appropriate” and a “wake-up call” while declaring he was going to an alcohol sanatorium.

Montgomery, who has spent the past two seasons as an assistant at the St. Louis Blues, said he has learned from his mistakes.

“Everyone has ups and downs in life. He said on Monday, and I believe that if you learn from him, as you progress, you will improve. I believe that anyone can achieve good things in life if they are willing to embrace change and make it.”

Montgomery said he is excited to take charge of a team that won 51 games last year. The Bruins also went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019 and had the best record in the league the following season.

But that wasn’t enough to save Cassidy’s job.

One complaint about Cassidy, who was quickly hired by the Vegas Golden Knights, was that he was too hard on young players. Montgomery, who has already called about half of the team, is famous for being a coach who is close to the players – but only to the limit.

“I think you have to listen. He said, and I prefer to listen before I speak. We will always be in the same boat. It will be the ‘us’ culture. But when it comes to accountability and final decision making, I will be firm.”

With his family sitting in the front row of the TD Garden Legends arena, Montgomery said he had already found a place to stay and visited Fenway Park, where he watched the Red Sox defeat the Yankees.

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“Things started off really well here in Boston. We are thrilled with this group of rabid fans in this great city of Boston. Be a part of the Bruins family. »

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