Q&A with Steve Montador
One of the team's new faces, the defenseman talks about his offseason and becoming an Anaheim Duck
Wednesday, 09.3.2008 / 2:22 PM PT / Features
|"When they came calling it didn't take very long for us to get things done." Montador says of signing with the Ducks this offseason. "It's very gratifying to be contacted by a team that obviously has a history and especially the recent history that it does."|
Brought in this summer to provide further depth to an already-impressive defense, Steve Montador is one of the new faces that will debut in a Ducks uniform in 2008-09. A six-year veteran, Montador comes to the Ducks after spending last season with Florida where he set new career highs in several categories, including goals (eight), assists (15) and points (23) while playing both defenseman and forward.
Waiting until July 11 to find out his new destination, Montador spent the majority of his offseason in
As a free agent this summer, how did you ultimately come to the decision to choose the Ducks as your new team?
Montador: When I sat down with my agent, we were just going to keep it open to see who was interested in us. In the back of our minds and certainly on paper, our thinking was being able to have the opportunity to play for this organization. When they came calling it didn’t take very long for us to get things done. It’s very gratifying to be contacted by a team that obviously has a history and especially the recent history that it does. I’m really excited to be on board.
After missing the playoffs with
Montador: Certainly being able to have a chance to win on every single night is something that every athlete wants to do. My role within the greater scheme of things was a part of it as well. I knew what I was going to be expecting opportunity-wise here where a few other opportunities did not seem to be clearly defined. It was the big picture and the little things that I am excited about here too.
You had a career year in 2007-08. What do you attribute to your success on the ice last season?
Montador: There were some ups and downs with our club and with me. I think it’s always like that. For me, it was a unique year and I think I grew a lot because I spent the year playing half of my games at forward and half at defense. Even within specific games, I’d play both as well and quite often actually. It bounced all around. It wasn’t the job that I sought myself to have in the NHL, but nonetheless it was the only role that I was going to be given. I figured once I got back past that early on in the season, it really comforted my spirits to say ‘Alright, well let’s just give it a best shot’. It was a different from any other year for those reasons, but I think I did a pretty good job with the challenge.
|"I feel like I have another element to my game and that is I can play forward if need be," Montador said. "Defense is what I grew up playing and it is what I like."|
Montador: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like I have another element to my game and that is I can play forward if need be. Defense is what I grew up playing and it is what I like. It’s where I love the game at the most. You’re in the action more. There are a whole bunch of reasons why I like it more and prefer it.
What is it like coming to a Ducks defense that is headlined by Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger?
Montador: It means a lot to have the opportunity to play, practice, watch and observe so many different talents that are here. There are different styles all mixed within that, but a lot of games and a bunch of Cups. It’s a fabulous opportunity for me to get to know these players that I have been paying attention to on television as people, their practice styles, game preparation and what it takes for them to be professionals. I feel like I’m going to be a good mix right into that.
What do you see your role on the Ducks being in the upcoming season?
Montador: I have been told and it fits well that I’ll be a fifth/sixth defenseman. As the season goes, I’d like to continue to improve. I feel I get better every year and as the year moves, I get better. I’m just looking forward to continuing that process.
What has the offseason been like for you away from the game?
Montador: It was nice. I spent the summer in
When did your preparations begin for the season?
Montador: I’ve been healthy the last couple of years, so I probably take about a week off. Then I get back into the gym three or four days a week and stay active. It’s not even necessarily the gym, but also getting outside for bike rides, hiking, tennis and some outdoors stuff. Being in
|"I feel I get better every year and as the year moves, I get better," Montador said. "I'm just looking forward to continuing that process."|
Montador: I only knew a couple of players. I played with Rob Niedermayer in
How much time have you spent in
Montador: I’ve spent a little time here in the past, not a lot. It was in LA County. I enjoyed it out here. Obviously, you can talk about the weather, but I also think there is a cool vibe down here. There are a lot of forward thinkers down here that I’m interested in with diet and environment. You mix that in with the lifestyle that this weather allowed and I just enjoy the atmosphere. I’ve been down now for a couple of weeks almost and mostly have been trying a place to live. It wasn’t too hard. I’ve been out a few times. I think I’m going to sign off on a place today in the