Dallas Stars name NAHL alum Montoya as director of community outreach
Dallas Stars President and CEO Brad Alberts announced the hiring of NAHL alum Álvaro "Al" Montoya to serve as the club's Director of Community Outreach. The newly created position will be focused on helping the organization grow the game of hockey among underrepresented fans, including Spanish-speakers like himself.
"The Dallas Stars are taking a proactive approach to ensuring that underrepresented communities have a voice at the table," said Montoya. "From my initial conversations with the executive leadership team, I was impressed with their vision for this position because it was beyond just a figurehead or networking resource. Along with numerous other responsibilities, I will be given the chance to be involved with the decision-making process that will impact how the team connects with those who might not have any experience or background in the sport. I am grateful to the Stars for the opportunity to be put in a position that empowers me to positively impact my new home in North Texas."
This isn’t the first time Montoya has spent a time of his life in North Texas. Montoya made in NAHL debut with the Texas Tornado when he was just 15-years-old during the 2000-01 season when he helped backstop Texas to their first Robertson Cup Championship. Following his season with Texas in the NAHL, he went onto play for the US National Development Program in the NAHL during the 2001-02 season, and eventually the University of Michigan.
The son of a Cuban refugee, Montoya was the first Cuban American to play in the National Hockey League and the first native Spanish speaker in the League's history. He currently serves on the NHL's Player Inclusion Committee, which was formed in 2020 to help develop action-oriented solutions that positively impact the access, opportunity and experiences that underrepresented groups have in the game - and in the business - of hockey.
"We are thrilled to welcome Al and his family to the Dallas Stars," said Alberts. "He will be an invaluable resource that will help us connect with underrepresented groups in our sport. The life experiences that he brings to this role can't be understated. We are looking forward to seeing how his leadership will positively impact the Dallas/Fort Worth community and Stars fans across the world."
Over nine NHL seasons, Montoya appeared in 168 contests with the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, and Edmonton Oilers. He earned a 67-49-24 record with a .908 save percentage, a 2.65 goals against average and seven shutouts. Montoya also manned the net in 208 career contests in the American Hockey League (AHL) with Hartford, San Antonio and Bakersfield, posting a 101-78-9 record with a .903 SV%, 2.70 GAA and nine shutouts. The native of Chicago, Illinois was originally selected by the New York Rangers with the sixth overall selection in the 2004 NHL Draft.
At the international level, the netminder has represented the United States on numerous occasions including the IIHF World Championship (2009, 2011) and the IIHF World Junior Championship (2004, 2005), helping lead Team USA to a gold medal in 2004.