In February of 2015, recently retired NHL veteran Steve Montador died in his home in Ontario. The cause of death has not been disclosed, but Montador's family has sued the NHL after an autopsy found evidence of "widespread" chronic traumatic encephalopathy in his brain. Montador was 35 years old.
For most hockey fans, Montador's death was just another story of an athlete who stepped away from the game and died far too young. But for fellow NHL veteran Daniel Carcillo, who played for nine seasons in the league before announcing his retirement this fall, it changed everything.
There was a lot of things that led up to what happened to him. Yeah, I mean, he had three concussions in four months. He was struggling in the last year and a half with finding who he was, what he was going to do, and I really believe that if he had the resources to help him identify what he wanted to do, he would still be here with us. I'm a really big believer in that.
Like, when Steve passed away, that's kind of where, you know, I just couldn't play hockey anymore. I don't know why. I felt Steve with me, so I became very, you know, emotional in intermissions. I couldn't even be around the guys. I was crying. I ended up getting a concussion that night and a fight, and that was it. And that was kind of the end of my career — and how fitting it ends in a concussion. And we all know Steve's story with that, and so it was just a really, really, really difficult time.
Carcillo struggled to adjust to life after sports, and says he felt like he had nowhere to turn. So he founded a non-profit organization called Chapter 5 to help other athletes with that transition.
Carcillo shares the rest, In His Own Words. To hear the full story, click the play button below the headline at the top of the page.
This segment aired on January 16, 2016.