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Jim Montgomery withdraws from Panthers' coaching search: report

Will remain at University of Denver rather than pursue NHL job @NHLdotcom

Jim Montgomery has withdrawn as a candidate to become coach of the Florida Panthers, he told The Denver Post on Friday.

Montgomery will remain the men's ice hockey coach at the University of Denver.

"My family and I are very happy here," Montgomery told the newspaper in a text message.

He reportedly had a second interview with the Panthers on May 30, and also spoke to the Los Angeles Kings before they hired Jon Stevens to replace Darryl Sutter on April 23.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told NBC Miami last month that he wanted to have a coach in place prior to the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23. Nashville Predators assistant Phil Housley, former Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien and San Jose Sharks assistant Bob Boughner reportedly are among the candidates being considered.

The Panthers cannot hire Housley until the Predators are finished competing in the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The earliest that would be is June 5.

"We're in no rush," Tallon said May 24. "We don't play till September. We're going to take our time and do the right thing and get the best possible fit for our young players and for our organization."

Tom Rowe, who stepped down as GM to replace Gerard Gallant as Panthers coach on Nov. 27, was reassigned to a role as special adviser to Tallon on April 10. Florida was 35-36-11, 14 points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff berth in the Eastern Conference after winning the Atlantic Division last season.

Montgomery, 47, coached Denver to the NCAA Division I men's championship this season. He played 122 NHL games from 1993-2003 with the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars.

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