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Former Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery said on Friday his abrupt dismissal by the NHL club was “appropriate” and he has entered alcohol rehab.

Montgomery’s statement was his first public comment since he was fired Dec. 10 for unspecified unprofessional conduct. He said the firing was “a wake-up call.”

“It was also the appropriate call,” Montgomery said. “I let the team’s front office, staff and players down.

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“More importantly, I let my wife and my family down. The team’s decision to end my role forced me to look into the mirror and decide whether I wanted to continue living a damaging lifestyle or get help. I decided to get help.”

Montgomery said he entered a rehab facility on Friday, adding it has “been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone.”

The 50-year-old Montgomery was in his second season with Dallas after making the rare jump from college coaching at the University of Denver. The Stars made the second round of the playoffs with their rookie coach.

Montgomery had two years left on his contract at US$1.6-million a season.

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