With the Blackhawks, Steve Montador sees everything he was looking for in a team as he approached free agency.
Montador agreed to a four-year, $11 million contract with the Hawks on Thursday, less than 24 hours after general manager Stan Bowman acquired his negotiating rights from Buffalo for a conditional draft pick.
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"The past few weeks I was getting prepared for July 1 and looking at the things I wanted from a team, and the No. 1 thing having a chance to win the Stanley Cup," Montador said. "It's a huge honor to play for the Blackhawks."
Montador plays the kind of game the Hawks were looking for from a defenseman. He is physical, dependable and kills penalties.
"We've been going over this for the last few weeks and days, trying to look at what our top priority was, and it was getting a defenseman," Bowman said. "When we decided, the No. 1 guy on our list was Steve."
Montador believes he can give the Hawks what they are looking for on the back end.
"What Stan and the group and the players did two years ago, but even leading up to that, they really put themselves back on the map by playing with a certain attitude and that's where I feel I help add to that even more hopefully," Montador said.
Adding Montador should take some of the pressure off Brent Seabrook to do all the physical work on defense.
"I don't know if he needs help, but we wanted someone who plays a similar style as Brent," Bowman said.
In the plans:
Forget those rumors of the Hawks buying out the contract of newly acquired Rostislav Olesz.
Stan Bowman said Olesz, acquired from Florida last Friday for defenseman Brian Campbell, does figure into the Hawks' plans at forward but that it will be up to coach Joel Quenneville to decide where in training camp.
"I think he really hasn't found his niche yet," Bowman said. "Is he a top scorer? Is he more of a checker who can score as well? I think he can play the game a few different ways. The goal is to get him healthy because he had some injuries last year that slowed him down.
"Talking to Joel, he's a new player to the organization so we're going to have to sort it out at training camp in terms of where and what line he fits on. We're open to see what he brings to the table, but we like the overall package he has."
Olesz was the seventh player taken in the 2004 draft.
On the market:
Thursday was a tough day for two former Hawks as Nashville bought out the contract winger J.P. Dumont while Minnesota put defenseman Cam Barker on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying him out.