Steve Montador suffered from degenerative brain disease, autopsy finds

An autopsy reveals NHL defenseman Steve Montador suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy

Former Ducks defenseman Steve Montador, who died in February, suffered from a degenerative brain disease, according to autopsy results revealed Tuesday.

The Canadian Sports Concussion Project said in a statement that Montador's brain showed widespread presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The autopsy results mirror symptoms of "depression, erratic behavior and problems with memory" that Montador displayed before his death, the group said.

In the wake of the findings, Montador's family told ESPN they plan to file a lawsuit against the NHL.

Montador, 35, was found dead in his Mississauga, Canada, home on Feb. 15. Lingering effects from a concussion he suffered during a game with the Chicago Blackhawks in February 2012 ultimately led to his retirement from hockey in 2013. Before his death, Montador agreed to donate his brain to the Krembil Neuroscience Centre for research.

Montador is the latest NHL player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy after death. Former NHL enforcers Bob Probert and Derek Boogaard also were found to have suffered from the disease.

In February, a group of 29 retired players filed a lawsuit against the NHL claiming the league failed to protect them against the risks of the repeated head trauma during their careers.

Montador played with six teams over 10 NHL seasons. He appeared in 56 games for the Ducks during the 2008-09 season, finishing with four goals and 16 assists.

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