NOTEBOOK: MONTADOR BACK TO BUSINESS
Tuesday, 09.15.2009 / 4:57 PM ET / Features
By Erin Pollina - Sabres.com
The Buffalo Sabres defenseman is adjusting to his new team at training camp this week and said that while it undoubtedly will take time to assimilate, it’s nothing he hasn’t done before.
“Getting to know guys’ names, faces and whatnot, that’s all just a natural adjustment,” he said. “Certainly having the experience of going from a couple teams and moved [a few times]… that just helps to makes it easier.”
Montador has changed addresses four times in his seven-year NHL career, racking up 604 penalty minutes and 68 points (18+50) for the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins, respectively, along the way.
His latest move came July 1, 2009 when he signed a two-year deal with Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent. Known for his tough play, Montador was acquired to help the team move towards becoming an overall grittier unit.
“It is a conscious choice, it’s something that I feel comfortable doing,” Montador said. “It’s a challenge nonetheless, but it’s something that I’m willing to do.”
Sabres fans may remember the defenseman when he was with the Ducks last season. Montador took on captain Craig Rivet not once, but twice on Feb. 2 in Anaheim. (Click here to see video).
“But I know that it’s not the only area that I can contribute in,” he said. “Meaning that I know I play solid defense and I can add offensively.
“I know how I can contribute, but I think as time goes on and camp goes forward, things will be defined a little bit more as far as what they see. I know what I see… but if they say we want you to do x and y, that’s what I’ll be doing.”
The team’s scrimmage week will come to an end tomorrow with the Championship Game set for 12:30 p.m. at HSBC Arena.
The round robin tournament has been comprised of three teams, with a combination of rookies and veterans competing against each other for a lighter practice.
“We had a tough one out there today and lost,” Drew Stafford said. “We’ll find out later what we have going on tomorrow, whether it’s the hard practice or the championship game. This has been a pretty fun little tournament.”
Look for a LIVE blog on sabres.com Tuesday for all the action.
Matt Generous was sent for stitches following the scrimmage today after the defenseman took a hard hit along the endzone boards from Jacob Lagace and was cut by a skate.
“He took a cut like [Paul] Gaustad took on the ankle area. Hopefully it didn’t catch anything serious… but we don’t know for sure,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said.
[Note: Gaustad suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the 2006-07 campaign after a skate sliced ligaments his leg.]
Patrick Kaleta participated in training camp today for the first time since veterans reported. Ruff said the winger had walking pneumonia and was kept away from the ice. Kaleta was on the practice squad today but is expected to scrimmage tomorrow.
Fans aren’t the only ones seeing a difference in the new boards installed at HSBC Arena. Several players, including Jochen Hecht, noticed a difference.
“They are a little bit quicker than the old ones, the puck seems to be a little more lively,” he said.
The Buffalo Sabres 2009 training camp is free and open to the public with limited concessions available. Click here for more information.