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Former NHLer Steve Montador passes away at 35

Carolina Hurricanes v Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 15: Steve Montador #4 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the Carolina Hurricanes at HSBC Arena on March 15, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Former NHL defenseman Steve Montador died at age 35, as first reported by TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

The Mississauga News reports that he was found dead at his home at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. Police do not suspect foul play.

Montador last performed in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12. He played 571 regular season games spread out between the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins and Blackhawks.

Many may remember him most from his time when the Flames, as he appeared in 20 postseason games during Calgary’s memorable run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

He spent the 2013-14 season in the KHL, and spoke with about his struggles with depression and concussion symptoms back in March 2013:

“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. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety and depression that comes with that,” Montador said. “I’ve had a lot of help to work through that and I feel like I’ve taken the right steps.”

The Chicago Blackhawks released the following statement regarding Montador’s passing:

“With deep sadness we mourn the unfortunate 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.”

People are already sharing their memories of Montador, whether it be fellow players or media members who had glowing things to say about how open he was.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins