Chambers: Troy Terry owes his NHL success to former DU coach Jim Montgomery – The Denver Post

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry met with Denver-area reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Avalanche and the Highlands Ranch native dug deep to contain his composure twice in his nine-minute interview at Ball Arena.

Terry became emotional talking about former University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery and former Pioneers classmate and roommate Logan O’Connor.

Montgomery, a recovering alcoholic who was fired for unprofessional conduct as the Dallas Stars head coach in December 2019, is now an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues. O’Connor is currently the Avalanche’s top-line right wing.

Terry’s take on “OC’s” surging career is elsewhere in Sunday’s hockey coverage. I felt this journal should focus on Terry’s relationship with Montgomery, a man who saw his reputation destroyed following his dismissal from Dallas, and a deeply loved coach who deserves a second chance as an NHL head coach.

“I’m not shy to talk about Jim Montgomery and what he meant to me,” said Terry, the Ducks’ leading scorer who recently had an NHL-best 16-game points streak end. “I feel like I was a very young, immature kid when I came to DU. He shaped me into the hockey player and everything that I am now.

“All of my habits as a player, all of that, have been instilled by Jim Montgomery. Even away from that, he generally cared about me. He cared about Logan, he cared about his players. I honestly attribute him and my years with him to being ready for the NHL and being ready to make that jump, the way he had us playing.”

Terry joined DU at age 17 in the fall of 2015, months after becoming one of the youngest players selected in the NHL draft. He and Montgomery celebrated the Pioneers’ 2017 NCAA championship together and both left Denver after the 2017-18 season — Terry’s junior year and Montgomery’s fifth and final season with the program.

Terry’s bond with Montgomery is a forever feeling, and no different than what most other former Pioneers and current Dallas players feel about the incredible coach and friend.

That crowd knows that the NHL team that gives “Monty” his second chance will not regret it.

Ahem, what was that? Avalanche coach Jared Bednar is usually a long-winded coach. His description of a player or a situation is typically in-depth, and sometimes the most interesting thing he says is buried in the quote.

I asked Bednar about the Avs’ Cale Makar late Wednesday night after the generational defenseman scored his sixth goal in a three-game span to help Colorado defeat the Anaheim Ducks and extend its winning streak to six games. I specifically asked the coach about Makar’s abilities to create chances inside the offensive blue line.

“He’s as good as anyone I’ve ever seen,” Bednar, now the winningest coach in Avalanche history, said a minute or two after the question was asked.

I listened to that audio four or five times, making sure of what he said. That’s right, the 49-year-old coach from Yorkton, Saskatchewan, who played professional hockey for nine years and has been coaching it since 2002 — the last five in the NHL — can easily suggest Makar, 23, is as good as it gets in creating offense from the point.

Just checking. Praise like that these days is usually only used when talking about Edmonton center Connor McDavid.

But Makar seems to be the McDavid of defensemen.

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