The Chicago Blackhawks placed defenseman Steve Montador on waivers on Monday, but he’s not really leaving the team. This was to be expected given Montador’s circumstances recently.
When he was asked on Friday what his immediate future would hold, Montador hinted at a possible rehab stint in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs. It’s all part of his slow but steady recovery from a concussion sustained last February that has kept him away from the ice and, by Montador’s admission, taken him to a very dark corner due to depression. With help, he’s coming back, and he’s been practicing with the Blackhawks since being medically cleared a few weeks ago. He recently traveled to Denver with the team but was never expected to be in the lineup for their game last Friday.
Outside of the team, many who weren’t aware of Montador’s comments are wondering which team would pick him up once he clears waivers. The same situation happened with Chris Bourque when he was placed on waivers by the Boston Bruins and sent back to their AHL team in Providence. The truth is that given Montador’s history with concussions and the $2.75 million cap hit attached to the five-year contract he signed in 2011, the possibility of any team doing that is very unlikely.
However long Montador stays in Rockford, it’ll be a good gauge of his readiness for the Blackhawks. When he’s ready, he’ll be back in the lineup. Hopefully it’s soon, because the Blackhawks could use the help right now.