Let’s be honest… We were all somehow hoping, especially after the furious start to January, that these last two KHL games left for the Bears this weekend would fit to the lyrics of Queen’s ''We Are the Champions'', and that we’d shed a tear of playoff joy again in the second KHL season. Unfortunately, things have worked out a little differently. Queen’s song might still apply because the Bears, despite everything, are champions in their own right and fighting spirit, but the playoffs won’t be happening this winter. The Bears will close the season in front of their fans this weekend, first on Friday against Dinamo Riga and then on Sunday against Jokerit from Helsinki, but at the same time they will be saying goodbye to an individual who left a huge empty space behind him – former Medvescak defenseman Steve Montador, who left us forever last Sunday…
The game on Friday (7:30PM) will be set to a different mood, and have a different meaning. It’s going to be more in the style of The Doors’ ''The End''. It’s not going to be a game in which the Bears play for points or the win, and the score won’t matter. It’s going to be a game in which the Bears, with heavy hearts, will play for Steve Montador.
''We're going to play this game for Steve. That was devastating news that we received after the game in Nizhny Novgorod. We were all upset because the world lost an incredible individual and our thoughts are currently with him and his family'', said Captain Andrew Murray, continuing:
''Steve wasn't with us for long on the team. He retired quickly after arriving because of injury, but that bit of time that he spent in the Den was enough to leave an impression on Medvescak. It was a priviledge to play with him and I'm happy that he was a part of our team. I will always remember him, and I'm sure that the rest of the guys that played with him or against him think the same.''
The Bears will wear black ribbons on their jerseys on Friday as a final honour to Monty. It's going to be 'Steve's last game on this Earth'. But, this won't be a goodbye just from the players, it will be from the fans as well. All those who wish, will have the opportunity to write a few words to Steve Montador in a book of grievances and light a candle for him in the lobby outside of Dom Sportova's Ice Hall.
''Once I heard the expression here that ''once a Bear, always a Bear''. That's why even though Steve Montador has left us, he is still a part of the club and I hope that fans will come in mass numbers to pay their respects and say goodbye to our Monty, our friend'', said Murray.