With 58 days left until the regular season starts up again, let’s take a look at a former Calgary Flames player with that number.
Since the start of August, we’re counting down the number of days left until the regular season starts up again! Everyday until the start of the season, we’ll be talking about a Calgary Flames player whose number correlates with how many days there are left.
Last time, we talked about Markus Granlund. All the players we’ve been looking at so far have still been active NHL players and most, except Granlund, are still within the Flames organization. Today, we’ll have a player who is not only not active anymore, but who unfortunately passed away two years ago at the young age of 35 years old.
With 58 days until the regular season, let’s look at #58 Steve Montador. (I know he wore a different number, but he did wear #58 at some point with the Flames).
Who is Steve Montador?
Name: Steven “The Matador” Montador
Birth place: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date of death: 2015-02-15
Height: 6’0” / 183 cm
Weight: 95 kg / 210 lbs
Drafted by: Undrafted
Stats with all his NHL teams, regular season:
Going undrafted, Montador got his shot with the NHL when the Calgary Flames signed him on a PTO in 2000. He spent most of his career with the Flames farm-team when he finally got a chance with the big guys late in 2001. He got his first NHL point in his first NHL game on November 23rd, 2001 against the Buffalo Sabres.
In the 2003-2004 season, the infamous season that all Flames fans will remember, Montador was playing with the Flames full-time. But his main job was keeping the bench warm. He only played in 26 regular season games.
But with some injuries to two Flames defencemen, Montador got a full-time role with the team during the most important time of their season – their cup run. And he became an asset to the team during that playoff run.
Montador has played for six NHL teams, one European team, and one Croatian team. So safe to say that he’s had his fair share of teammates and home-ices. So much so that he’s suffered a history of concussions and decided to finally hang up his skates in 2014.
Because of those concussions, it unfortunately led to Montador’s untimely death in February of 2015 when he was found dead in his home. I say untimely because just four days after his death, his son was born.
His death was caused by something called CTE – basically, it’s a brain condition which was caused from all the concussions he suffered in his career.
Via The Hockey News:
"The first time Chris Montador noticed a change in his brother was the Christmas of 2011 when he came home for a short visit while playing with the Chicago Blackhawks. That would be Steve Montador’s last NHL season and after shorts stints in the minors and the KHL, his career ended last season, in large part because of concussion problems.Chris Montador always knew his brother as an upbeat person with a positive outlook on life and someone who always looked for solutions. What he saw that Christmas was a completely different personality. “He wasn’t my brother,” Chris Montador told thn.com in an interview Thursday. “He was like a different person inside his body and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart today. He wanted to be the same guy, but he just couldn’t.”“He just either stopped breathing or his heart went,” Chris Montador said. “With respect to his brain, I don’t know how many cylinders were working in there. And as the days have gone on, I think my brother knew he was going to pass away early. He never said that to me, but I just feel he kind of knew that. And as my dad said, he packed 70 years into 35.”"
It’s always tough to see athletes go so young, especially when they were a part of a team’s integral cup run. Hockey isn’t always everything, and unfortunately for the Matador, it was just that.