On thin ice: a study in hockey coaching relationships

Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reported yesterday that Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon and DU head coach Jim Montgomery are set for a second interview. Still, Montgomery insists that everything must be ‘perfect’ for him to leave. As for Tallon, “We have interviewed six guys and we have another half dozen we plan to speak to.”

So, just where is this relationship going?

LetsGoDU wanted to learn more about the psychology of new relationships. Madamenoire, a teen blog on budding relationships, seemed like the perfect place to start. We went to an article called “He’s just not that into you” for clues. Here are five signs that this bromance may be on thin ice:

  • He only sees you after midnight

A clandestine first meeting at a hotel – or worse yet, a Waffle House in Florida. Everyone knows you hooked up but neither side can talk about it. And the next meeting? An Alligator Alley rest stop or Splash Mountain – no wigs Monty, please!

  • He’s already involved with someone else

Montgomery on his relationship with Denver, “I feel valued. I feel loved. And loyalty means a lot to me.” And Tallon? He has scheduled scores of coaching prospect interviews. His candidate list is so long it has the feel of John Mayer’s little black book. It seems so dirty.

  • He’s dating other people

On the NHL tonight, Tallon gleamed, “We’re talking to A LOT of people. I have enjoyed every bit of it.” Ah, the thrill of the chase but can he be trusted? “You are the ONE – I just need to see a few more people to be SURE.”  Every guy tries this one but how many of us really get away with it?

  • He attends major events without you

Panther Fan Fest and Open House is scheduled for May 20th. But it looks like Monty, and all the other candidates, will just have to stay home. What must they be thinking? “Don’t you want me to meet your friends? Or, am I just not good enough!”

  • He pulls a disappearing act

Tallon says the confidential coaching search will involve many interviews and candidates over a series of weeks and possibly months. According to Madamensoir, “When you don’t see him  for days, weeks or months at a time without explanation, he is just not that into you”.

At the comments section at the end of the Madamensoir article, commenter Lived-and-Learned warned, “My ex-boyfriend did these things and it still took me several months to wake up and leave him. It happened gradually as he seemed so into me in the beginning and treated me like a princess. Over time he charmed and manipulated me into doing all kinds of things for him while he did less and less for me, until I realized I had become his mommy, housemaid, errand girl, laundress and “masseuse” with nothing in return, nothing literally, without knowing exactly how it happened.” 

From all accounts, Monty doesn’t even know how to cook.

13 thoughts on “On thin ice: a study in hockey coaching relationships”

  1. Awesome…I think a teen blog is a pretty genius place to figure this stuff out. Monty better get a “commitment” from the Panthers soon, or DU may get restless and start looking for a new long-term relationship, too. Chambers article says that Monty has four years left on a contract extension. If so, does DU have no choice but to sit with hockey program in limbo until Florida decides sometime this summer what it wants to do? Hopefully Peg has already started looking for potential replacements in case it doesn’t work out with Senor Monty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leave it to Panthers to stretch out this courtship for as long as possible. Do you have your guy or not? Just another example of an organization that has no idea.


    1. One way or another, I suspect they’ll have someone in place by the first week of June.

      The NHL entry draft is the 23rd-24th and, unless the Panthers are completely batshit crazy, they’ll want to have their coach in place a couple of weeks before then; so that they can get everyone on the same page in preparation for the draft. On paper, anyway, this looks to be a pretty weak draft class; so screwing it up could set a Florida organization that already lacks depth back significantly.

      Of course, Tallon is just arrogant enough to decide that he could easily manage a draft without a coach in place and succeed….


  3. To be completely fair to the Panthers, there are likely candidates they have yet to speak to that are still involved in the playoffs – either AHL or NHL. Ever since this process began, they have said that they would “cast a wide net” when it comes to their coaching search, so you can’t fault them for doing just that.

    That said, I can’t imagine that the “perfect” situation for Coach Montgomery includes a GM that isn’t convinced that you’re “the guy” until he speaks to every person with a pulse that has a marginally qualified resume…..

    But what do I know?

    Thing is, though, at least a couple of NHL jobs become available every year – I mean, hell, this year, there were FIVE (Buffalo, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Florida, Dallas)…and that doesn’t count Las Vegas! You’ve gotta believe that if Montgomery REALLY wants to go to the NHL, he could bide his time a find a much better situation than constantly looking over his shoulder at the ego-maniac that is Dale Tallon…


  4. And also…if Monty returns along with Terry, Gambrell, Borgstrom and all the new recruits, there would be a very good chance that DU returns to the Frozen Four. That would only increase Monty’s stock as a potential NHL coach, and allow him to find a better position than the Panthers. Another Frozen Four appearance could also take him from being a Tier 2 NHL candicate (one who gets put on hold for 2 months) to a Tier 1 candidate that an NHL team might target as their prime candidate.


    1. *nods*

      Yep. On paper, anyway, DU would be the odds-on favorite going into the season. Granted, shit happens – injuries, poor play, classroom ‘difficulties’, chemistry problems, leadership voids, etc…etc…etc, all can derail a promising NCAA season. However, under Coach Montgomery’s watch, DU has proven remarkably resilient to such happenstance.

      If Coach Montgomery wants a shot at the NHL, his stock is only likely to improve by continuing his run at DU….


  5. Monty has been either a player or coach at most of the leagues/levels levels of hockey – NHL, AHL, IHL, Europe, NCAA, USHL, etc.

    If anyone has an educated perspective, it’s him. He has the tools to evaluate what is best for himself and his family, which, at the end of the day, must be his priority.

    If it were me, I’d probably gamble another year at DU with horses he has vs taking an offer with the poor track record/reputation of the Florida organization. I think he can get a better chance at a better NHL organization by waiting a bit longer. He’s good…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lest we forget, the Florida panthers’ fans throw rats on the ice. Although they do say the live ones are no longer in the arena.
    Hopefully Monty takes the opportunity to break in DU’s new locker room/players facility.


  7. The one thing that nobody has mentioned relates to NHL coaching vacancies. Are the elite, perennial top teams (Chicago, Pittsburgh) going to have an opening for him? NO. Why because any decent NHL owner wants to win and it is clear Tallon and others like him are part of the problem. If I am Monty and I REALLY want to coach in the NHL, this might be a good entry point. After all, Can you fall off the floor??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair point. The perennially elite NHL teams are generally NOT in the market for an unproven (at that level, anyway….) coach. And, you’re right, you can’t fall off the floor.

      BUT, you can fall ON the floor and, in the process, get so dirty that no-one wants to sit next to you anymore….


  8. I’ve done company reorgs., teardowns, build ups etc. and there are some absolute rules not to be ignored. One is don’t ever go to work for an insecure (lousy) boss regardless of the opportunity.. Tallon falls in that category.
    Plus, if he wanted Monty he would have firmed it up in the first interview.

    Liked by 1 person

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