During Montador's funeral in Mississauga on Saturday, Dr. Charles Tator said Montador understood the serious nature of concussions in hockey and made a decision five years ago to donate his brain to scientific research upon his death, the Associated Press reported.
Craig Conroy, a former teammate on the Calgary Flames, reiterated Montador's wishes.
“He didn't know when it was going to be, but when it did happen, he wanted to donate his brain,” said Conroy, a former Kings center who is now an assistant general manager with the Flames. "That just tells you what kind of person he was. Obviously it's way too early, but if it helps someone else, that's what he was always about."
Montador died Feb. 15 at the age of 35. The cause of his death has yet to be determined pending the results of an autopsy.
His death came a little more than a year following his retirement, after lingering concussion symptoms forced him to abandon extending his career overseas. Shortly before his retirement, Montador took a leave of absence from the team because of lingering effects of a concussion he suffered while with the Chicago Blackhawks in February 2012.
During an interview with CSN Chicago in 2013, Montador discussed his struggles overcoming concussion symptoms and said he was at one point battling depression. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter described Montador as "a real popular guy, a real smart guy," who "obviously had some demons."
Montador's decision to donate his brain didn't come as a surprise to those who knew him.
"He was very intellectual himself and looking for answers and trying to figure out what made things work and how to improve things," said former Ducks teammate George Parros. "And if he could donate his brain to figure out how to best treat concussions and things like that, then he would certainly do it."
Montador played with six teams over a 10-year NHL career. He appeared in 56 games with the Ducks during the 2008-09 season, finishing with four goals and 16 assists. He was shipped to the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline for Petteri Nokelainen.
Montador recorded 131 points in 571 career NHL games.