Alvaro “Al” Montoya was born on February 13, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois and currently plays goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. Nicknamed “The Big Cubano,” Al was originally drafted in the first round, 6th overall, by the New York Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, becoming the first Cuban-American to play in the NHL. Al made his NHL debut in the 2008-09 Season as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, recording a shutout against the Colorado Avalanche. While currently playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Al has also spent time as a member of the New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets, and Florida Panthers over the course of his National Hockey League career. Internationally, Al represented the United States at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, leading them to their first Gold Medal performance at the 2004 tournament in Finland.

What was the most memorable moment of your hockey career? 

Helping Team USA capture our first Gold Medal in the WJC 2004


What advice would you give to future professional hockey players? 

Believe in yourself. Hard work really does pay off! Don’t stress about what you can’t control.


What are you doing now since retiring from professional hockey?

Finishing my last year at the University of Michigan. Spending time with my beautiful family. Building my second career.