The Dallas Stars Canned Coach Jim Montgomery Out of Nowhere for an "Act of Unprofessionalism", and the Details of This One are Sure to Be Dirty
While it’s obviously bad news that yet another hockey coach was fired for inappropriate behavior of past or present, the silver lining is that we’ve reached the stage in the righting of wrongs process during which NHL teams take impropriety seriously enough to both self-report it and act on it. The fact that whatever Jim Montgomery did wasn’t only punished after being leaked long after the fact by either a player or executive that no longer felt sworn/strong-armed to secrecy is a sign of slight progress. After all, the Mike Babcock and Bill Peters cover-ups were even more symptomatic of the culture around the sport that was a breeding ground for their self-important, overbearing, and manipulative bullshit than their actual "crimes".
Speaking of, what in the hell did a coach of a ridiculously resurgent playoff team have to do to get canned, effective immediately, after an internal investigation that was so expedited that it ended with an unceremonious ousting before the public even knew it began? The Dallas Stars clearly found his behavior to be unforgivable, but whatever they are hesitant to say (or legally inclined to not say) has got to be about 100x more tame than the results of the investigation conducted by my imagination...
It reportedly wasn’t against the law, but jay-walking is technically illegal and I have a strong sense that whatever cost him his livelihood, in the midst of its success on the highest level, was far worse than turning his nose up at oncoming traffic.
With the dirty deeds we now know hockey teams to have swiftly swept under the rug, you can’t help but wonder the size of a skeleton that was presumably too big for the Dallas Stars’ closet while the rest of their house was in outstanding order. My mind immediately went to him stuffing a much more literal skeleton under the floorboards at team facilities, which is only as much of an indictment of how much time I’ve committed to Criminal Minds as it is an indictment of a sport that has apparently been complicit in creating monsters out of mentors and vice versa. With his (now former) team having recovered from a disastrous start and currently being in place to compete for a ring, it stands to decades of ass-backwards "reason" that they thought the underage prostitution ring he was potentially advertising on the back page of the team programs would eventually cut into his prep-time come the postseason.
Dark humor aside, I’m glad that a team got out ahead of either personal or professional misconduct from one of their most forward facing representatives, albeit vaguely, instead of biting their lip, crossing their fingers, and greasing the gears on the PR machine in case of emergency (i.e. unexpected exposure). Still, one would think it has to be pretty goddamn for an NHL franchise that is flourishing on the ice to forget about hockey and take it upon themselves to uphold organizational good off of it.