After a career-best season with Florida in 2007-08, 28-year-old defenseman Steve Montador signed a one-year contract with the Ducks on Friday.
The Anaheim Ducks announced on Friday that they have signed defenseman Steve Montador to a one-year contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
Montador, 28 (12/21/79), appeared in 73 games for the Florida Panthers in 2007-08, scoring 8-15=23 points with a +1 rating and 73 penalty minutes (PIM). He set career highs in most offensive categories last season, including goals, assists, points, power play goals (2) and shots (96).
Originally signed by Calgary as a free agent on Apr. 10, 2000, Montador was acquired from Florida with Dustin Johner in exchange for Kristian Huselius on Dec. 2, 2005. He has played in 290 career NHL games between the Flames and Panthers, collecting 14-33=47 points with 461 PIM.
A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Montador appeared in 20 of the Flames’ 26 playoff games during their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. The 6-0, 211-pound defenseman, who played in all seven Stanley Cup Final games against Tampa Bay, scored 1-2=3 points with a +4 rating and six PIM during the 2004 postseason.
Montador spoke to reporters via conference call on Friday afternoon. Following is a transcript:
On how the deal got done with the Ducks, When free agency started, Brian (Burke) gave my agent a call and expressed interest. Certainly, I was very keen on the opportunity to come to Anaheim. We took a couple of days to discuss things and Brian didn't pressure too much of a deadline until a day and a half ago. When we really sat back and thought about it, I just thought that Anaheim was the best place for me based on the team that's already set there, the opportunity for winning and the history that Anaheim has. The reputation that they've started for themselves is something that I'm very keen on and super excited to be a part of.
On what he brings to the Ducks, Certainly there are a number of great defensemen that are already on the team, but what I know that I can contribute and want to contribute is a solid defensive game, making good first passes, playing an agressive style in the defensive zone and being able to chip in offensively when I get the opportunity because I know that I have some skills that can help out that way too. Whichever role that they see me in and we discuss is something that I want to be a part of. I'm looking forward to it.
On his increased offensive numbers in 2007-08, I think it was in part getting better as a player myself and getting more of an opportunity. There was an opportunity to go back to Florida. I chose not to because I thought the opportunity for me as a player, for minutes played and the role that they discussed with me, was more apparent and of interest to me to come to the Ducks. I think that I grew a lot as a player last year. I think I grew a lot of over the last few years, but expressed that at least on the scoreboard as a player last year. I feel I'm continuing to get better as I get older.
On coming back to the Western Conference, I was born in Vancouver, but I grew up in Toronto. I love the West Coast. I love California. I've spent a little bit of time over the past few years there. I know a few players on the team. I'm just absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.
On knowing any of the current Ducks from previous teams, The only player that I've played with is Rob Niedermayer in Calgary, but I've gotten to know Brad May quite well. I think it all started with a fight we had a few years ago. We hooked up together for a number of charity events and what not during the lockout. I've even spoke with Brad already. He's given me an idea of how things work.