It’s been over a year since Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador was benched because of a concussion. He only played one game over a month after that happened and hasn’t touched ice in a game since then. There was a glimmer of hope when he was at the brief preseason practice, but one hit took him out of the lineup again.
Montador has now been cleared to play and has been practicing with the team, although he’s been sitting out games waiting for his chance to come back. After the Blackhawks’ morning skate on Friday, he opened up to the media for the first time and gave everyone a glimpse of his life during his recovery. Needless to say, it was a very bad time that was marked by depression and serious doubts about the future.
“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,” said Montador. “I’ve had a lot of help to work through that and I feel like I’ve taken the right steps.”
When he does return to the ice, he may get some time with the Rockford IceHogs before coming back to the Blackhawks. But for him, it’s another step forward in his recovery, he’s just thankful to be back with the team doing what he loves.
“It’s just really hard to put into words the experience to be back with the guys. It’s just a real blessing and I’m just filled with gratitude that my recovery’s brought me this far,” Montador said. “Just every day is a brand new day and there’s a lot of enjoyment. I love being around the guys, I’m glad to be on the road here. To feel myself get better out there, I’m just filled with a lot of gratitude.”