MONTREAL, QC — Am I really writing about this topic? Honestly, I feel compelled to do so by some of the bizarre things I’ve heard and read.
Hamilton Bulldogs goaltender Cedrick Desjardins was traded by Pierre Gauthier yesterday to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Karri Ramo.
So, last night, I posted the Canadiens press release here on All Habs along with a few explanatory comments. I was about to continue on with my evening, when I thought, maybe I’ll check in on Twitter.
The place was in an uproar. Gauthier was being called Satan and worse. Habs fans and some panicky bloggers were heading to the lifeboats to abandon a sinking Canadiens ship.
Did I miss something? Aren’t we talking about Cedrick Desjardins?
Desjardins is the undrafted goaltender that the Canadiens picked up as a free agent to fill a vacancy in Hamilton in 2006. Since then he has played for the Bulldogs and the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL without making much of a ripple in Habs news.
This past season with Hamilton was Desjardins’ best. But let’s not get too carried away. We need to put that statement in perspective.
Desjardins had a strong start to the season, as did the Bulldogs, which earned the goaltender a trip to the AHL All-Star game. After that, he was rather ordinary and lost his starting job to Curtis Sanford at times, namely in the playoffs.
Throughout his career, Desjardins has battled inconsistency and approaching the age of 25 hasn’t yet learned to handle the puck. In short, he proved to be a useful pick-up for a time, but the organization felt that he had reached his ceiling.
End of story?
Wrong. Not in Montreal. Conspiracy theories abounded.
Let’s be frank. The notion that Desjardins was shipped out to avoid a Francophone threat to Carey Price is nonsense. Yes, in the same way that Mike Cammalleri should be worried about a trip to the press box if David Desharnais is called up.
Desjardins played well in the AHL early last season and benefited from a well-coached Guy Boucher system. Nothing more, nothing less. Desjardins wasn’t close to being ready for an extended stint in the NHL.
A top prospect in the organization? That’s delusional.
Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman recognizes that too.
In his statement Yzerman essentially called it a depth move. Not only do the Lightning have Mike Smith and Dan Ellis but have their franchise goaltender Dustin Tokarski in the development stream. Jaroslav Janus will quickly pass Desjardins on the Tampa depth chart too.
“With his American Hockey League experience, he will provide excellent goaltending depth for the organization, allowing us to be patient while Dustin Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus further mature and develop,” said Yzerman.
Does Yzerman sound like he is describing a rising star or a stop-gap measure?
So what is with all the panic, angst and silly abandon ship talk? What is discouraging is that a good deal of this hyperbole is being driven by the mainstream media in Montreal.
I don’t remember the same blistering critique when the Habs surprisingly released prospect goaltender Jason Missiaen now playing for the Peterborough Petes.
Listen, I don’t often defend Gauthier but this move makes sense to me. The Canadiens have ended their affiliation with the Cincinnati Cyclones and needed a place for Robert Mayer to play. Hamilton is the logical choice.
Mayer earned co-MVP honours in the ECHL playoffs as the Cyclones won the Kelly Cup. He has bouts of inconsistency at times but he is five years younger than Desjardins. His development path still has plenty of room for growth while Desjardins has plateaued.
In Ramo, the Canadiens get a goaltender who is committed to the KHL for another year. That suits Gauthier just fine as he will get plenty of work without creating a logjam in the Habs system. In a year’s time, once Alex Auld’s contract is done, Ramo can compete for the backup job in Montreal to Carey Price.
It’s almost as if Gauthier has a plan. Maybe he does.
And who knows, maybe Halifax Moosehead goaltender Peter Delmas, who has been invited to rookie camp, will be the next rising star? (I’m kidding)
Please folks, settle down. There will be plenty of things to get riled up about in the coming months but this isn’t one of them. And to the MSM, shame on you for using this non-issue to 1) bash Carey Price and 2) boost your sagging summer numbers.
With that said, I welcome your comments to tell me why this is the first sign of the impending apocalypse.
About the Author (Author Profile)Rick is the Editor-in-Chief, lead contributor, and owner of the All Habs network of websites. His mission is to build a community of Canadiens fans who are informed, engaged and connected. He is the vision behind all four sites within the network - All Habs, Habs Tweetup, We Are Canadiens, and The Montreal Forum - and is responsible for the design and layout of each. In concert with the strong belief that "Habs fans are everywhere!", Rick is pleased that people use All Habs as a conduit to find and connect with other Habs fans worldwide. He is also proud that Habs Tweetups have allowed fans to meet in person and develop long lasting friendships.
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