The Canadiens acquired unrestricted free agent Cedrick Desjardins to be, in effect the team’s third goaltender. In the eventuality of an injury to either Carey Price or Peter Budaj, Desjardins was projected to be the one called up from Hamilton as replacement.
It hasn’t worked out. At one point during the season, he was losing goaltender in eleven straight starts. It was clear as the season unwound that the first call up from Hamilton would be European-born Robert Mayer and not Desjardins.
So Desjardins goes to Tampa in a trade for the second time in three year, this time in return for 23 year old prospect Dustin Tokarski.
Tokarski has some credentials. He was on a World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal team in 2009.. He was named most valuable player when the Spokane Chiefs won the Memorial Cup in 2008. As a pro, along with Desjardins, he was part of the Norfolk team that won the AHL’s Calder Cup champioship last season.
Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman told the St. Petersburg Times that gthe trade was made because of concerns about an injury to Anders Lindback or Mathieu Garon. “Our goaltending in Syracuse hasn’t been up to par. We want to give our team the best opportunity to make the playoffs.”
“We weren’t comfortable with our options right now,” Yzerman said.
Desjardins was originally traded to the Lightning in August 2010 for another goaltender, Kari Ramo. (The Canadiens subsequently traded Ramo’s rights to Calgary as part of the Rene Bourque trade – He is now playing with Avangard Omsk in the KHL) Dejsardins made his NHL debut against the Canadiens Dec. 30th, 2010, stopping 27 of 28 shots in a 4-1 Tampa victory. It was one of only two NHL appearances, both of them wins. While Desjardins basic stats are better than Robert Mayer’s, Desjardins couldn;t win. He registered 7 wins, 13 losses and 2 overtime losses with a 2.94 goals against average and .905 save percentage. Mayer was 10-10-3 with a 3.04GAA and his save percentage was .898.
From the Canadiens Communications Department
MONTREAL, QUE – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs General Manager Marc Bergevin announced todaythat the Canadiens have acquired goaltender Dustin Tokarski from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goaltender Cedrick Desjardins. Tokarski is scheduled to join the Bulldogs at tomorrow’s morning skate.
Tokarski, 23, has played 33 games with the Syracuse Crunch this season posting a record of 18 wins, 8 losses and 4 overtime losses along with a 2.46 goals against average and .900 save percentage. During the 2011-2012 regular season, Tokarski played 45 regular season games for the Norfolk Admirals registering 32 wins, 11 losses and 0 overtime losses along with a 2.23 goals against average and .913 save percentage. The native of Humboldt, Saskatchewan helped the Admirals capture the 2012 Calder Cup last season by recording a record of 12 wins and 2 losses, a 1.46 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in 14 playoff games. The 5’11’’, 198-pound netminder suited up in five games for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season and registered a record of 1 win, 3 losses and 1 overtime loss with a 3.44 goals against average and a .879 save percentage. Tokarski played for Norfolk from 2009 through 2012, minding the net in 146 games and posting an 80-56-7 record along with a 2.47 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.
Prior to turning professional, Tokarski played three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League compiling a total regular season record of 77 wins, 39 losses and 7 overtime losses with a 2.18 goals against average and a .925 save percentage in 129 games. During the 2008-2009 season, Tokarski recorded the league’s best goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.937). Tokarski also helped lead Team Canada to a Gold Medal during the 2009 Under-20 World Junior Championship. In 2007-2008, Tokarski led the Spokane Chiefs to a Memorial Cup Championship while being named the Memorial Cup Most Outstanding Goaltender as well as capturing the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Tokarski was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the fifth round, 122nd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Desjardins had been a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization from 2006 to 2010 before returning to the Canadiens on July 1st, 2012 as a free agent. In 2012-2013 with the Bulldogs, Desjardins had a record of 7 wins, 13 losses and 2 overtime losses with a 2.94 goals against average.