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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Steve Montador

(Born December 21, 1979) -- The number of National Hockey League players who aren’t drafted but who have long careers is not a big one. Steve Montador is one of the few to beat the odds.

Montador spent five seasons playing in the Ontario Hockey League, with stops in North Bay, Peterborough and Erie. He signed with the Flames’ organization and headed to Saint John in the American Hockey League for the 2000 playoffs.

Montador made his NHL debut with Calgary in 2001-02, and stayed there until 2005. Just when he thought he could be comfortable, the defenseman was dealt to Florida. Then Montador was swapped to Anaheim, where he spent almost a season before going on to Boston in a trading deadline deal in 2009.

That summer, Montador signed a two-year contract with the Sabres for $3.1 million. He was a regular for both of those seasons, playing in more than 70 games and finishing with a total of 49 points.

Then Montador was preparing for free agency in 2011 when he was traded to the Blackhawks for a low draft choice. Chicago signed him and inserted him on the blue line in 2011-12. Montador finished with 12 points for the Blackhawks.

--- Budd Bailey

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