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Quenneville: Montador out indefinitely

by Brian Hedger
CHICAGO -- The comeback from an upper-body injury believed to be concussion-related didn't even last one full game for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador.

The 32-year-old Montador, who'd missed 22 games in a row, was re-injured Tuesday night in New Jersey when his head collided hard with Devils defenseman Mark Fayne early in the third period. Montador did not participate in Thursday's morning skate at United Center and will not play against the St. Louis Blues.

"We'll just say right now he's out indefinitely," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Upper body."

It's been a frustrating second half of the season for Montador, who was acquired by Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman before free agency started last summer and signed a four-year contract extension worth $11 million ($2.75 million cap hit) according to capgeek.com.

He's missed 25 games because of injuries overall, and has five goals with nine assists and a plus-4 rating in the 52 games he's played. Chicago will also play its third straight game without top puck-moving defenseman Duncan Keith, who's serving a five-game suspension for elbowing.

Montador actually played forward on the fourth line in New Jersey, rather than defense, which meant veteran 40-year-old defenseman Sean O'Donnell was on the third pairing with rookie Dylan Olsen. Sami Lepisto isn't ready to return yet, so that appears likely to be the setup for the game against the Blues, as well.

Look for Michael Frolik to grab Montador's spot on the fourth line with rookie Jimmy Hayes likely being a healthy scratch for the sixth straight game.
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