A sad revelation came across the hockey world earlier today. Former Flame Steve Montador was found unresponsive in his Mississauga, ON home at around 2:00 A.M. E.S.T. and was pronounced dead around 2:30. Montador was only 35 and had just played last season for the Kontinental Hockey League's Medvescak Zagreb. He also played for the Panthers, Ducks, Bruins, Sabres and Blackhawks. TVA's Renaud Lavoie was the first to break the news.
It's with sadness that I just learn the passing of Steve Montador. He was 35 years old. He played 571 games in the NHL.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 15, 2015
Montador was an undrafted free agent signing for the Flames when he signed back in the 1999-2000 season. He made his N.H.L. debut for the Flames on November 23, 2001 registering an assist and a fight in his 14:48 minutes played. Throughout his career Montador played 94 games for the flames and 571 total N.H.L. games. His most memorable moment came when he scored the game winning goal in overtime of the first game of the western conference final against the San Jose Sharks.
Unfortunately all of the games played and his physical style would take a toll on Montador. He had struggled with concussions shortly after signing with the Blackhawks and he was eventually bought out with one of their compliance buyouts. He spoke with the media regarding the concussions during his time with the Blackhawks.
He attempted to make a comeback in the K.H.L, but that was short lived as he was forced to leave in October of the 2013-2014 season due to the effects from the concussions. He was undergoing a treatment and recovery program in Canada. The director of the N.H.L.P.A. Donald Fehr had this to say regarding the passing of Montador:
"We are all deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Steve Montador. 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. 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 was involved in pending litigation against the N.H.L. in the concussion lawsuit. His estate may pursue the claim according to T.S.N. He was born on December 21st, 1979 in Vancouver, BC and was a member of the 2000-2001 Calder Cup winning Saint John Flames prior to playing for the Flames.