The Bruins introduced Jim Montgomery as their new head coach during a press conference at TD Garden on Monday. He was joined by general manager Don Sweeney, team president Cam Neely, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, and Delaware North CEO Charlie Jacobs.
Here’s what the members of team leadership had to say:
On Patrice Bergeron possibly returning for a 19th season:
Montgomery said he had reached out to about half the players on the Bruins’ roster so far.
What about Patrice Bergeron?
“That was my first phone call.”
Montgomery said the phone call was “really good” and “enlightening.” Montgomery is among the individuals who are working to convince Bergeron, a five-time Selke winner, to return for a 19th season.
“I felt like I was talking to a coach, not a player.”
Charlie Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North, which owns the Bruins, said the team is getting some “positive feedback” on the Bergeron front.
“Fingers crossed he returns.”
On David Krejci possibly returning:
David Krejci, who spent last season playing in his native Czechia, could possibly return to the Bruins, according to general manager Don Sweeney.
Sweeney said he has had “numerous conversations” with the 36-year-old center, who has spent a lot of time with his family — which was one of his goals in returning home. Sweeney said things were encouraging.
“Hopefully it’s with us,” Sweeney said of Krejci’s possible return to the NHL. “We would welcome him back.”
Sweeney said he would do “all that I can” to make Krecji’s return possible when it comes to clearing cap space.
On Montgomery getting a second chance:
Montgomery lost his first head coaching job in 2019 when he was fired by the Dallas Stars. The circumstances surrounding the move were mysterious until the following month, when Montgomery revealed he was undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse.
Montgomery said he made it back to the top with the support of friends and family, and believes firmly that people can change.
“I think anybody can achieve good things in life if you’re willing to accept change and make change,” he said.
On his biggest strength:
Montgomery said he thinks his biggest strength is his “ability to connect with people.” It will be an important one, as Bruins brass said one of the issues with Bruce Cassidy that prompted his firing was how he communicated with players.
Montgomery said he’s been focusing on “communicating how important everyone’s role is” on the team, and his approach is to “come back to how that person’s individual success helps team success.”
But how to balance listening to players and making decisions?
“I think you have to listen, and I prefer to listen before I speak, and then I’ll turn back to what is always best for the team, after I’ve listened to suggestions or ideas or opinions.
“When it comes to accountability and final decisions,” he said, “I will be firm there.”
On the team Montgomery inherited, and what needs to change:
Montgomery acknowledged that the Bruins were a 51-team last year, and that many of those pieces are still around.
But Montgomery said he would make changes that would “lead to a little bit more offense.”
Katie McInerney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.