Jump to content

David Desharnais and the transition from underdog to scapegoat


Recommended Posts

David Desharnais is small.

Very small.

He also used to be effective.

Very effective.

When playing for the Chicoutimi Saugeneens of the QMJHL, former Canadiens cup winner, Guy Carbonneau saw something special in the 5' 7" forward and urged the Habs' brass to sign him to a contract. And to be honest, just by looking at Desharnais' numbers in the CHL and the ECHL, it doesn't take a genius to see his potential. In 2005-2006, Desharnais potted 118 points in 63 games, yet he went undrafted.


Let that sink in.


In 2007-2008, with Cincinnati of the ECHL, Desharnais scored 106 points in only 68 contests.


Then he was signed to an NHL/AHL contract which he began by centering the top line for the Hamilton Bulldogs. In his third season with the Bulldogs (only his second complete season in Hamilton) in 2009-2010, Desharnais was able to chip in 78 points in only 60 games.


Fast forward to the end of the miserable 2011-2012 Canadiens' season, and Desharnais is one of the few bright lights on the team. Centering a line for the up and coming Max Pacioretty and newly acquired power forward Erik Cole, Desharnais scored 60 points in a full 82 game campaign as the Habs finished dead last in the East.


Fast forward again to last night, and the newly elected mayor of Montreal is trying to run him out of town.


As Ron Burgandy would say, "Well, that escalated quickly". How could this undrafted gem fall from grace so quickly?


In order to find out, you need to look back at the lockout shortened 2012-2013 NHL season. Just as he was so successful in the past, Desharnais centered the top line, flanked by Cole and Pacioretty. As I recall, the season started alright for Desharnais, but not for Cole, leading to his trade to the Dallas Stars for Michael Ryder.


Erik Cole was that line for the Canadiens.


It's so difficult to see because of the success Pacioretty had over those two seasons. Desharnais was dependent on Cole to succeed, which is why he has had such a struggle this season. Some say it's the fact that he has new line mates every night, but you could put him on the ice with Galchenyuk and Gallagher and he still wouldn't be able to find the back of the net. There was something about Cole's ability to balance his speed and his size effectively. 


So what's the solution?


Well, you have to think that Dallas has at least some interest with putting Desharnais with Cole and Benn on the top line. However, the price has to be fair for the Stars. I feel comfortable saying that with the abundance of centers for the Habs, winger Antoine Roussel can be sent to La Belle Province in this potential trade.


One thing is for sure. David Desharnais will not finish the season with Les Canadiens, and once he's gone, Montreal will have no reason for certain players to continue to underachieve.




Link to comment
Share on other sites



Maybe he just said no to the crack pipe invitation.....Oh wait.....wrong Mayor..Sorry. Seriously though, is he really the habs big problem? I don't see it but I certainly don't catch many habs games. I would think that having the most guilty floater on the ice(Briere) would be a more endemic problem. Be it injury or apathy, he seems to have lost his will to play hockey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And for anyone unaware of the comments made by the mayor of Montreal...



MONTREAL - Montreal's newly elected mayor, who has a proven knack for getting in the news, has already had his first public spat with the local hockey team.

Denis Coderre, the former federal MP who was elected mayor on Nov. 3, has drawn the ire of some Montreal Canadiens.

During last night's game he tweeted: "Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to (minor-league) Hamilton for David Desharnais please..."

It was a rather run-of-the-mill remark for a regular hockey fan. Countless numbers of them tweet running commentary on Habs games and many have criticized the play of the struggling forward.

But this one drew a little more attention, coming from the mayor.

The team was pushing back at Coderre on Monday.

Max Pacioretty, a longtime linemate of Desharnais, was particularly fuming and when asked about the remark he unloaded on the mayor.

"I'm very, very upset about that," Pacioretty said.

"What, do you think he's gonna coach our team tomorrow? That's embarrassing...

"To bring down a player — such a great person, such a great player, such a hard worker ... Davey's a true competitor and he's a great player and a great teammate, and that's just so uncalled for... It's only going to make matters worse."

Defenseman Josh Gorges said it's wrong to kick someone when they're down.

And coach Michel Therrien may quietly agree with Coderre's assessment of Desharnais' play, given that he's been handing him less icetime lately.

But he doesn't welcome the remark.

"I really believe this is inappropriate from our mayor," said Therrien, weighing his words carefully.

Coderre's outspokenness and penchant for grabbing the spotlight is a distant cry from the city's last elected mayor — the understated, Harvard-educated Gerald Tremblay, who was eventually felled by a controversy over corruption at city hall.

The first week alone has demonstrated that in abundance.

Since Coderre won the election, he has already had a run-in with the Parti Quebecois provincial government over its religion charter; with the powerful mayor of Quebec City over a perceived slight to him; and now with the Montreal Canadiens.

He also encouraged embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford last week to switch to "Diet Coke."

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/hockey/Montreals+mayor+angers+Habs+criticizing+player/9151730/story.html#ixzz2kTDPYudT


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Cole created room for Deharnais and Pacioretty.  Pacioretty can be effective without that space, but evidently Deharnais cannot.  I think that ihab is right about Dallas.  That could be a sweet deal for them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Desharnais has had a couple good games lately. 


Maybe the press will get off his back for awhile. 


I dunno if this is relevant, but his teammates seemed to resent the dumping-on that he endured.  He's obviously well-liked in the room.  Doubt that had anything to do with Montreal's resurgence.  But, you gotta wonder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...