By Jeremy Rutherford (The Athletic)

Mention Jim Montgomery’s name around the Blues’ locker room these days and you’ll learn about the many text threads he had with various groups of players.

The 2020-21 season was Montgomery’s first as an assistant coach on Craig Berube’s staff, and because COVID-19 limited the amount of contact with players, Brayden Schenn remembers getting to know Montgomery better through texting.

“Oh yeah, he was on a thread with me, Bozie and Schwartzy,” said Schenn, referring to former teammates Tyler Bozak and Jaden Schwartz. “He has a great personality. He was funny and kept things light.”

There was another thread with the Blues’ Russian players: Vladimir TarasenkoIvan Barbashev, and last year Pavel Buchnevich was added.

“Yeah, we have a little group chat,” Tarasenko said, smiling. “He is a good guy and it was nice to have a conversation with him. He said a lot of jokes. Sometimes we argued for a little bit, but it always ended up nice.”

Buchnevich echoed Tarasenko’s thoughts.

“If you’re not playing very well, he’s always like a positive guy,” he said. “Always a smile, and he makes some jokes, especially with Russian guys. Sometimes really funny.”

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