Veteran NHLer Montador (concussion symptoms) leaves KHL team

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Some troubling news out of the KHL over the weekend as former NHL defenseman Steve Montador left his club, Medvescak Zagreb, with lingering concussion effects.

Montador, 33, has taken an indefinite leave — one that might result in his retirement from pro hockey — after feeling recurring symptoms of a concussion suffered with Chicago in March of 2012.

The injury derailed what looked to be a promising tenure with the ‘Hawks. Montador signed a four-year, $11 million deal in 2011 and got off to a solid start, racking up 14 points in his first 52 games.

He was cleared to return almost a full year after suffering the concussion, at which time the Blackhawks placed him on waivers. Unable to find another NHL suitor, he signed with Medvescak in August and proceeded to appear in 11 games.

Montador’s last game with the Croatian-based club came in late September and, over the weekend, he made the decision to walk away.

“This injury reminded me of how important it is to think of your health in the long term, and not just for the time being. I’ve been in this situation before, so I’ve tasted it all,” Montador told the Medvescak website. “I know that I have to be careful and that this step is necessary. That said, I knew that because of the injury I wouldn’t be able to offer as much on the ice as I would want to, and that I’m not at a hundred percent.

“But despite that, the decision wasn’t easy. Actually, there were mixed feelings. On the one hand it was easy because I would like to completely heal the injury, and if I look at it that way, then this was the right decision, but on the other hand it was damn hard to take that step — to leave the team.”

According to the KHL’s website, Montador has returned to Canada to embark on a recovery program.

Florida prospect Bjugstad (concussion) to make season debut


Nick Bjugstad, the 19th overall selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has sufficiently recovered from a concussion and will make his season debut for the Panthers tonight vs. Nashville.

Bjugstad, 21, suffered the concussion during Florida’s rookie tournament in early September. He was held out of training camp and has not seen any game action this season, though he did returned to practice on Monday and had a “solid” showing, according to head coach Kevin Dineen.

Bjugstad, a center, spent the last three years at the University of Minnesota and made his NHL debut for the Panthers in 2013 appearing in 11 games while recording his first big-league goal.

There was some thought about sending Bjugstad to AHL San Antonio on a conditioning assignment but, with the Panthers having lost three of four, the club figures it could use a spark from the 6-foot-6, 215-pounder.

Habs GM Bergevin: Parros ‘almost symptom-free’ from concussion

George Parros
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After a scary incident in Montreal’s season-opening loss to Toronto, George Parros is getting better.

On Wednesday, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin told the Montreal Gazette that Parros — concussed after falling to the ice in a fight with Colton Orr — is “almost symptom-free.”

The Gazette also reports Montreal is in no hurry to get its moustachioed enforcer back into action, citing the delicate nature of concussion recovery.

Parros, 33, was hurt during this tangle on Oct. 1:

Parros was hospitalized following the fall and suffered no fractures, later released after his CT scan came back negative.