Former Ducks defenseman Steve Montador, who played 10 NHL seasons with six clubs, was found dead in his home early Sunday morning, according to the Mississauga News. He was 35.
The Ducks expressed their condolences on Twitter: "It is with great sadness to learn of the death of former
#NHLDucks defenseman Steve Montador. Our thoughts go out to Steve's family."
Born in Vancouver, Montador retired from professional hockey in 2013 after playing 11 games in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. 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. Montador spoke about his battle with concussion symptoms during an interview with CSNChicago.com in 2013.
Montador appeared in just 14 games for the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, during the 2012-13 season before the Blackhawks bought out his contract.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, who coached Montador on the Calgary Flames early in his career, described him as "a real good person." Montador was part of the Flames' 2004 Stanley Cup Final team, and was perhaps best remembered for scoring a spectacular overtime goal against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference final that year.
Sutter indicated Montador had spent time living in the Los Angeles area until a couple months ago. He said a couple of Kings players were in touch with Montador during that time.
"He was a real popular guy, a real smart guy," a somber Sutter said. "Obviously had some demons. The last lockout the 48-game lockout, he was in Chicago by then. He missed most of that season... he came into the lockout year with a concussion and missed most of that year and was hoping to get cleared.
"It was late in the year and they put him on waivers. He went to Rockford and never did play [with Chicago]. I spent some time with him in the conference finals because he was in Chicago. So that was good."
Don Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players' Assn., released a statement on Montador's death:
Montador appeared in 56 games for 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 also played for Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres. He recorded 131 points in 571 career NHL games.