NHL notebook: Former defenseman Montador dies at age 35
Former defenseman Steve Montador was remembered Sunday for being a solid teammate and for his work with the players' union.
Montador was found unconscious early Sunday morning in his home in Mississauga, Ontario, and was later pronounced dead, according to the Peel Region Police. No foul play was suspected.
“Steve was a great person who quickly became a friend of everyone he came to know in the game — teammates, NHL club staff, the media and fans,” NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr said in a statement. “Over the course of his career, he was an active member of the NHLPA and someone who I and our entire staff enjoyed working closely with. He dedicated a lot of his time to advancing the interests of his fellow players.
“On behalf of the players and staff, we send our thoughts and prayers to Steve's family and his many friends. He will be greatly missed.”
Montador made his NHL debut in 2001 with Calgary and played for six teams in parts of 10 seasons.
The Vancouver, British Columbia, native had 33 goals and 98 assists in 571 career games.
Montador had five goals and nine assists in 52 games with Chicago in his last NHL season. He suffered a concussion in February 2012 and played in one game the rest of the year.
“He was a leader in the locker room,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said after Sunday's 2-1 shootout win over the Penguins. “He did a lot for the union on our team and then league-wide. He was friendly with everybody and a great teammate. It's really disappointing to hear the news before the game. We're going to support each other, support his family and all of his close friends and get through it.”
Some players took to Twitter to praise Montador for being a mentor at the start of their careers.
“So sad to hear the passing of my former teammate Steve Montador,” ex-Sabres teammate Luke Adam wrote. “I will always remember how good you were to me as a rookie, Monty.”
• Winger Michael Raffl returned to the Flyers lineup Sunday against the Sabres. Raffl had been out since Jan. 20 with pneumonia.
— Wire reports