08/14/2018 9:19 AM
DULUTH, Ga. – The Atlanta Gladiators announced Tuesday that defenseman Kevin Montgomery has agreed to terms with the team for the 2018-19 season.
“Monty is a big pickup for us not only for his excellent playing abilities, but also what he’ll bring to the team’s culture and chemistry,” said Head Coach and General Manager of Hockey Operations Jeff Pyle. “Kevin is a very versatile D-man that excels in both ends of the rink with a ton of AHL experience and can bring a lot to any role he is put in.”
“It was an easy choice to decide to play in Atlanta this season after seeing Coach Pyle get hired here,” said Montgomery. “I had the privilege of playing for Jeff for a short time in Europe, and I wanted another opportunity to do that again. He has a brilliant hockey mind, but more importantly, he is an even better person who makes the game fun and always has me excited to come to the rink.”
Montgomery, 30, brings 371 games of professional experience in the AHL, ECHL and various high-level European leagues. The Rochester, NY native has spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League where he appeared in 192 games and produced 43 points (7g, 36a) for Lake Erie, Oklahoma City and Springfield. The former fourth round draft pick (110th overall) by the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche in 2006 has one season of ECHL experience in 2015-16 when the defender notched 17 points (4g, 13a) in 35 games for the Florida Everblades. Most recently, the 10-year veteran served as the alternate captain for the Rodovre Mighty Bulls in the top league in Denmark and posted 25 points (6g, 19a) in 44 games.
“He will be a top four defenseman for me and help spread my message in a leadership role,” added Pyle. “He is a calming presence on the ice that will lead by example to promote my message of a team-first mindset, selflessness and sacrifice.”
“I’m not a big fan of yelling and screaming at guys to get them going,” said Montgomery. “I like to set a good example for the younger players and take them under my wing to show them things I’ve picked up over my tenure in the pro game thus far.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound veteran registered 96 points (12g, 84a) and a plus-35 rating over the course of three Major-Junior seasons in the OHL for the London Knights before turning pro in 2009-10. Montgomery represented the United States at the U20 World Junior Championships in 2007-08.
“I’m at the point in my career where I want to go to an organization that will be successful,” said Montgomery. “It’s not about individual success for me anymore, and I feel Atlanta is in a great position to accomplish a lot this season as a team.”
The 16th season of Atlanta Gladiators hockey begins at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 19th against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:35 PM. For ticket information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.
The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 10,867-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth – where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top “Things To Do” in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.
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