Sad news shook the hockey world on Sunday as former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador was found dead at his home in Mississauga early Sunday morning, according to police.
Montador, who was just 35 years old, was found unresponsive in his home at 2 a.m., according to information obtained by The Mississauga News. Foul play is not suspected in the death, but the investigation is still pending.
Montador only played one season with the Blackhawks, after signing a four-year contract with the team in 2011. In 52 games with the Hawks, Montador had five goals and nine assists, but his season was cut short by concussion issues as he suffered a season-ending head injury during a game March 27, 2012.
After that injury, Montador was never able to come back to the ice. Symptoms kept returning throughout his recovery, and even though he ended up playing 14 games with the Rockford IceHogs during an attempted return, the Blackhawks used an amnesty buyout on his contract after the season.
Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago had a great article on Montador’s struggles with depression during his concussion recovery, and the defenseman was very frank about his situation:
“I can see why people have a hard time with a number of different things and being taken away from something they love to do and not sure if you’d ever get back the chance,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, and depression that comes with that. I’ve had a lot of help to work through that and I feel like I’ve taken the right steps.”
The Blackhawks issued a statement on Montador's death Sunday afternoon:
"With deep sadness we mourn the unforutnate loss of former Blackhawk Steve Montador. We join the many others throughout the NHL in keeping Steve's family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."