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.