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Steve Montador, former Ducks defenseman, dies at 35

Former Ducks defenseman Steve Montador has died. He was 35

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.

According to the newspaper, a friend of Montador's discovered his body at his Mississauga, Ontario, home and he was pronounced dead just shortly after police arrived. Foul play is not suspected and an autopsy will be conducted, a police spokeswoman said.

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:

"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 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.

Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

12:30 p.m.: This post has been updated with a statement from Don Fehr, executive director for the NHL Players' Assn.

12:16 p.m.: This post has been updated with reaction from Kings Coach Darryl Sutter.

This post was first published at 10:16 a.m.

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