CHICAGO – Former NHL defenseman Steve Montador was remembered Sunday for being a solid teammate and for his work with the players' union.
Montador, 35, was found unconscious in his home in Mississauga, Ontario, early Sunday morning and was later pronounced dead, according to the Peel Region Police. No foul play was suspected.
"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," Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said in a statement.
"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 made his NHL debut in 2001 with Calgary and played for six teams in parts of 10 seasons. The Vancouver, British Columbia, native had 33 goals and 98 assists in 571 career games.
Montador had five goals and nine assists in 52 games with Chicago in his last NHL season. He suffered a concussion in February 2012 and played in only one game the rest of the year.
"He was a leader in the locker room," Chicago forward Patrick Sharp said. "He did a lot for the union on our team, and then leaguewide. He was friendly with everybody and a great teammate."
Some players took to Twitter to praise Montador for being a mentor.
"So sad to hear the passing of my former teammate Steve Montador," former Sabres teammate Luke Adam wrote. "I will always remember how good you were to me as a rookie, Monty."