Daniel Carcillo remembered back to that Sunday afternoon in the rink back in mid-February when a friend called to tell him the tragic news.
"My best friend in hockey, Steve Montador, was found dead in his home at age 35," Carcillo wrote as a guest contributor for the Players' Tribune. "Steve was a 12-year NHL vet who battled addiction at certain points in his career before getting sober. Since he walked away from the game due to concussions in 2013, he was struggling to figure out what to do next. But I was still in complete shock and disbelief."
Carcillo went on to open up not only about his relationship with Montador over the years, but also about the NHLPA's exit strategy for players when their time in the league comes to an end.
Now Carcillo is speaking up about mental issues and is calling for change.
"After Monty died, I really did some research, kind of asking guys that had already moved on and that I had played with if they knew what our exit program was for the NHLPA," he said. "I was kind of astonished to find out that not one guy can tell me what it was. Right now, as far as the PA goes, we would receive a phone call to see how we're doing and that's pretty much our exit program.
"From the guys that I've talked to who have moved on, they've all said the same thing — all fell into a deep depression and went away quietly. It was almost as if the less noise you make when you go away, the better. I don't think it's right. It doesn't feel right for how much we give to this league and this sport. Sacrificing our bodies, sacrificing our minds with the concussions and hits we take."
Watch Carcillo's full video below: