Steve Montador (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)
Former NHL defenceman Steve Montador has died of what appears to be natural causes, police say. He was 35.Former NHL defenceman Steve Montador was found dead inside his Mississauga home early Sunday morning. He was 35 years old. Peel Regional Police say a friend found Montador dead at about 2 a.m. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. Police say an autopsy will be conducted but no foul play is suspected. "It appears to be natural causes," police said. Montador was born in Vancouver, B.C. and played 10 seasons in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks. Montador went undrafted in junior and signed as a free agent with the Calgary Flames. He started with the Flames' AHL affiliate in 2000-01 and debuted with the big club the following season. Montador played four seasons with the Flames before joining the Florida Panthers in a trade in 2005. He played three seasons with the Panthers and split the 2008-09 season between the Ducks and Bruins. He spent the following two seasons in Buffalo and signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12 for his last season in the league. Montador suffered a season-ending concussion on March 27, 2012 and never returned to the NHL. He was assigned to the Rockford Icehogs during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and struggled to recover from his concussion. The Blackhawks used one of their compliance buyouts on Montador on June 27, 2013. Montador signed with Medvescak Zagreb in the KHL last season and appeared in 11 games with the club. The six-foot, 210-pound stay-at-home defender tallied 33 goals, 131 points and 807 penalty minutes in 571 career regular season games. He won a Calder Cup with the Saint John Flames in 2001 and was part of the Calgary team that advanced to the Stanley Cup final in 2004. His family has been notified and is asking for privacy. The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers tweeted their condolences to Montador's family on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Steve Montador this afternoon.— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 15, 2015