Daniel Carcillo nearly breaks down in tears during a video interview for The Players' Tribune as he remembers the circumstances of best friend and former Blackhawks teammate Steve Montador's death in February.
The defensemen was found dead at age 35 in his Mississauga, Ontario, home on Feb. 15. Concussions brought an end to his NHL career. Autopsy results haven't been reported.
Carcillo recalled his reaction to the news during a pregame skate in an article for Derek Jeter's player-edited news website:
"I went to the trainers' room to try and finish tying my skates without anyone noticing the tears. I didn't want to be a distraction for the guys. It was a big game. I told JT, one of our trainers, what had happened. I tried to put on my best face and finish getting ready back at my locker. That's when Johnny Toews noticed something wasn't right. I don't think I was doing a good job of hiding it. He pulled me back into the lounge and I told him what happened. Johnny hugged me and tried to calm me down. But I was inconsolable."
Carcillo sat out the game.
In a video for the site, he talks candidly about his substance abuse, depression and campaign to start a support system for players to transition to their post-hockey lives. He also talked about the physical toll the game took on Montador.