Fired Dallas Stars hockey coach Jim Montgomery has issued a statement saying that he is checking himself in to rehab for alcohol abuse.

The former UMaine hockey captain and school all-time leading scorer, was abruptly fired on December 10th for what the NHL team called "unprofessional conduct".

Montgomery today called his firing "a wake-up call".

"It was also the appropriate call," Montgomery said. "I let the team's front office, staff and players down. 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. I turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counseling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone." - Montgomery Statement

The 50-year-old Montgomery was in his second year as Stars coach after five successful seasons at the University of Denver. He had two years left on his contract at $1.6 million per season.

Assistant coach Rick Bowness has taken over as Stars head coach.