Blackhawks remember Clint Reif, Steve Montador during postseason run

Patrick Kane on Clint Reif, Steve Montador: 'They were a big part of our lives and our hockey team'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Every time Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville puts on his Blackhawks windbreaker, he’s reminded. Every time players put on their helmets, same thing.

Especially this time of year, during the Stanley Cup Final.

The letters “CR” have been stitched and stuck on Blackhawks clothing and equipment since assistant equipment manager Clint Reif died Dec. 21, shortly after the team returned home from a trip to Columbus, Ohio. He was 34.

Not even two months later, former Blackhawk Steve Montador was found dead in his home. He was 35.

“They were a big part of our lives and our hockey team,” Patrick Kane said. “It’s unfortunate, but at the same time you kind of have something to play for. Maybe if we do something special, you can dedicate it to someone and realize how important they were when we did good things with our team.”

The Blackhawks will try to make more memories in their memory by winning their third Stanley Cup in six seasons.

They got off to a good start Wednesday with a 2-1 victory against the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Teams that win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final have won the series 58 of 75 times (77 percent) since the best-of-seven format began in 1939.

“You try to move on and take the positives from a negative situation,” Kane said. “We realize how great of guys those two were, and even though they are gone, they mean a lot to us today.”

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad