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DALLAS (AP) When Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill
started his third coaching search in five years Calvin
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, he took a look at their talented roster
that is still among the youngest in the NHL.Their new coach is certainly
accustomed to dealing with youth.Jim Montgomery was introduced Friday by the
Stars, becoming the second head coach in three years to go directly from the
college ranks to the NHL.”I think the game is changing, and in the end it’s
dealing with people,” Nill said. ”It’s dealing with the younger players, and on
top of it, winning, and he’s done that.”Montgomery was 125-57-26 the past five
seasons at the University of Denver, including a national title in 2016-17. As a
player, he was part of a national championship at Maine in 1993.”We loved our
life in Denver and I loved my job, and the only way I was going to move from a
great position was for an opportunity that was better,” said the 48-year-old
Montgomery, who has four young children.Before Denver Michael
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, he spent three seasons as head coach and
general manager for Dubuque of the United States Hockey League. The Fighting
Saints were 118-45-21 from 2010-13, when they won two USHL titles.Montgomery is
a departure from the first two hires by Nill, grizzled NHL veterans Lindy Ruff
and Ken Hitchcock.Hitchcock, who coached the Stars to their only Stanley Cup
title in 1999, returned as their coach for only one season before retiring last
month and becoming a consultant for the team. The Stars have missed the playoffs
eight of the last 10 seasons.Philadelphia has made the playoffs in two of the
three seasons since Dave Hakstol was hired by the Flyers from collegiate power
North Dakota.”Jimmy’s been successful at every level that he’s been at,” Hakstol
said. ”He’s a smart guy that he’s going to take what he does and he’s going to
take it to the NHL level.”Montgomery inherits a Dallas squad led by high-scoring
forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Benn, a two-time All-Star and team captain
who turns 29 this summer, was among those attending Montgomery’s introductory
news conference. At 26, Seguin is already a five-time All-Star.The Stars also
have one of the league’s top-scoring defensemen in John Klingberg, and goalie
Ben Bishop, who is signed for five more seasons.”When I look at this lineup, I
really get excited Derek
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,” Montgomery said. ”It has everything you want.
It has star power. … You have depth, you have size, you have skill, you have
speed at every position.”The Stars were solidly positioned for the playoffs in
March before an eight-game losing streak that started with six losses on the
road. Still, Dallas improved significantly in a year, finishing with 92 points
under Hitchcock after only 79 in the last of their four seasons with Ruff. The
79 points were the second-fewest in a full season for the team since moving to
Dallas in 1993-94.Montgomery played in 122 career NHL games from 1993-2003, his
last nine games coming with the Stars. He also played for St. Louis, Montreal,
Philadelphia and San Jose.”I hope my coaching career is going to last longer,”
Montgomery joked.Only two head coaches had gone directly from college to the NHL
before Hakstol and Montgomery.Ned Harkness was the first, when he went from
Cornell to Detroit in 1970 and was 12-22-4 as head coach before becoming the Red
Wings GM. Bob Johnson went from Wisconsin to Calgary in 1982 and had a
234-188-58 record in six seasons as an NHL head coach. Johnson team’s made the
playoffs in all six of his seasons, five in Calgary and his only season in
Pittsburgh for a Stanley Cup title in 1991.Nill said his final list of 10
candidates includes five veteran coaches and five others who could be given an
opportunity as an NHL coach.”He’s a guy that’s been on our radar
screen James
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,” Nill said of Montgomery. ”He had that
passion, that fire. He’s built his resume up the right way. It’s about winning,
and he’s found a way to do it, and especially a way to do it in today’s game.”—
TORONTO (AP) — The play of Thomas Chabot might help the Ottawa Senators get over
the loss of Erik Karlsson.Chabot had two goals and an assist, Craig Anderson
made 34 saves, and the Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 on Saturday
night.Dylan DeMelo and Chris Tierney, who were among the players acquired from
the San Jose Sharks in a trade for Karlsson, also scored for Ottawa. Mark Stone
added an empty-net goal with 24.3 seconds left.Zack Smith chipped in with two
assists for the rebuilding Senators, who have looked good with their young
roster through two games and a 1-0-1 start.The Senators are a franchise in the
midst of a rebuild after a number of off-ice issues and the trading of Karlsson,
their captain and star defenseman, in a six-player swap on the eve of training
camp.“You saw the offense … the ceiling’s high,” Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher
said of Chabot. “He’s going to become just as good defensively over time.“I have
so much faith in him.”Chabot played 63 games with the Senators last season after
failing to make the club out of training camp before finishing his rookie
campaign with nine goals and 16 assists.“Usually a defenseman gets into his
prime around 23 Austin
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, 24,” he said of being thrust into top-pair
duty minutes following the Karlsson deal. “It’s earlier than we expected.“I’m
just trying to take advantage of every opportunity.”Mitch Marner, Auston
Matthews and Morgan Rielly each had a goal and an assist for Toronto, which has
a win and a loss in a wobbly start to the season.Frederik Andersen stopped 19
shots for the Leafs.“If you’re going to be 1-1, probably should have won tonight
and lost against Montreal,” Toronto head coach Mike Babcock said. “We didn’t
capitalize around the net tonight like we probably could have.”Chabot snapped a
3-3 tie with his second goal of the game at 1:42 of the third period, sliding
the puck through the skates of Toronto rookie Igor Ozhiganov off the rush before
beating Andersen.Ottawa’s Anderson made a nice stop on a Connor Brown deflection
with 9:24 left in regulation to keep his team ahead on just the fourth shot of
the period by Toronto.The Senators nearly went ahead by two a couple minutes
later, but Andersen was there to block Smith’s shot from close range after the
Leafs failed to get the puck out.Toronto made an expected late push and pulled
Andersen with three minutes to go, but the Leafs couldn’t find an
equalizer.Ottawa led 1-0 after the first period, but Toronto struck early in the
second to take a 2-1 lead. Rielly got things started 29 seconds in, taking a
feed from Marner before Matthews scored his third of the season at 1:10.The
Senators evened the score at 3:49, when Chabot stepped around Tyler Ennis at the
point and took advantage of some sloppy Leafs coverage to pick up his own
rebound and beat Andersen.Just 38 seconds later Patrik
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, Tierney got behind Toronto’s defense and
beat Andersen between the pads for the Senators’ third goal on nine
shots.Andersen stopped Patrick Marleau to keep his team in front with a great
pad save later in the period, but Marner raced between Ottawa defensemen Cody
Ceci and Mark Borowiecki on the power play before faking the Senators goalie to
the ice and sliding a shot home with less than two minutes left in the period to
make it 3-3.Toronto beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime to open the
season on Wednesday — a disjointed effort in which Leafs were stuck in their own
zone for long stretches.Ottawa, meanwhile, opened its season with a 4-3 overtime
win over the Chicago Blackhawks in a game in which the Senators led 3-2 in the
third on Thursday.The Leafs got the better start they wanted Saturday, with
Marner, Marleau and John Tavares all coming close early, but it was the Senators
that took the lead at 9:42 of the first.Chabot’s pass from the left corner in
the offensive zone went off Smith’s stick to DeMelo, who beat Andersen along the
ice to snap a personal 87-game goal drought that dated back to Nov. 26,
2016.Marner had a chance to tie it with 5:47 left in the period on a penalty
shot after getting slashed on a breakaway by Chris Wideman, but Anderson made a
right pad save.“The younger guys did a great job,” Boucher said. “And the older
guys did a terrific job of anchoring them.”NOTES: Ottawa winger Brady Tkachuk
sat out with a groin injury for the second straight game. Head coach Guy Boucher
said after the morning skate he’s hopeful the No. 4 pick in the June draft will
be available to make his NHL debut Monday when the Senators visit the Boston
Bruins. … Backup goalie Garret Sparks is expected to start for Toronto on Sunday
night in Chicago.NEXT UPMaple Leafs: Visit the Chicago Blackhawks on
SundaySenators: Visit the Boston Bruins on Monday
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