Watch Montgomery's acceptance speech in the player above.
In December 2019, Jim Montgomery was fired by the Dallas Stars. Barely a month later, he chose to announce that he had an alcohol problem.
"Losing a job as head coach of the Dallas Stars was a wake-up call," Montgomery said in a statement, seeking help for his alcohol abuse.
In September 2020, he returned to the NHL as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues and last summer he became the head coach of the Boston Bruins.
This past season has been a success for Boston: 65 wins and 135 points in the regular season, a new NHL record. Last night, Montgomery was therefore awarded the Jack Adams Award, the award for the league's best coach.
Acclaimed acceptance speech: "All of you who are fighting out there, you can change"
"All of you who are struggling out there, you can change. You can influence your own change. But you can't do it on your own, you need a team, you need a community – and I'm lucky," the 53-year-old said in his acceptance speech, adding how his alcohol problems led to his firing by Dallas.
One of many who praised Montgomery's open-heartedness was Boston goalie Linus Ullmark.
"It's amazing how open he's been about it since day one," the Swede, who previously talked about his father's problems, told Expressen.
"Yes, my dad had the same thing. He suffered from alcoholism, he too. So for me, this hit a little more in the heart.
"Why should I just keep quiet about it? I can open my mouth and say how I feel. What I went through and how I got through it. If I can help someone along the way, it's so much worth it," Ullmark continues.
CLIP: Ullmark, Karlsson and Backlund awarded at NHL Awards (June 27)
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Linus Ullmark and Erik Karlsson awarded at NHL Awards Photo: Bildbyrån