Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Fall of David Desharnais

David Desharnais' on-ice production has dropped faster than Nortel's stock a few years ago following a career-best (by far) 60-point campaign alongside Max Pacioretty and former-Hab Erik Cole back in 2011-12.

Midway through last season, new General Manager Marc Bergevin rewarded Desharnais with a lucrative four-year contract extension that will pay him $14 million (an average of $3.5M/year). The diminutive pivot's offensive production has since gone downhill to the point where he will be made a healthy scratch for the second time this season on Tuesday night. Desharnais will receive $42,682 to watch the game from the press box.

In his first complete season with Montreal, Desharnais centered the Habs' best line, potting 16 goals and 44 assists for 60 points with a +10 rating in 81 games despite playing for one of the worst teams in the league under Jacques Martin and Randy Cunneyworth.

While Desharnais' production slipped a little bit during the lockout-shortened season to a 48-point pace over a full season (he had 28 points in 48 games), things went bad to worse this season, as the Laurier-Station , Québec native is not the shadow of his former self.

Through 17 games this year, the 5'7'', 170-lb center (soaked wet) has only recorded a single helper despite playing on average 15:06 per game, 1:33 of which are on the power play. What is even more alarming is that Desharnais can't see to produce with anyone in spite of playing a regular shift with talented wingers.

Heck Desharnais has not even taken a shot on goal in his past five games! Even former Hab forward Scott Gomez was not that invisible. Desharnais has only taken 17 shots on goal this year, but instead of scoring at his career-pace of 14.3% he has yet to find the back of the net.

With the return of Daniel Briere in the line-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the emergence of rookie Michael Bournival, there is simply no more room for Desharnais on the team's top-three lines. His lazy hooking penalty in the third period that led to a New York Islanders' goal on Sunday might have been the final nail in Desharnais' coffin.

With Brandon Prust and Alexei Emelin slated to return in the next week or so, the organization will have to make important roster decisions as to which players will remain with the team and which players will head to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL.

Since the 27-year-old center doesn't kill penalties, he needs to contribute offensively to be an effective forward in the NHL. As a result, the best course of action would be to send him down to the AHL as Montreal's new mayor, Denis Coderre, said on Twitter on Sunday night. Desharnais, who looks lost on the ice most of the time, needs to go back to the basics to regain his confidence and start producing again on offense.

Desharnais will have to battle harder along the boards to win his battles for the puck and play a more aggressive game in front of the opponent's net in order to succeed in the short term. A short stint to play in the AHL for a few games could help jumpstart him and make him the player he once was for the Canadiens. While he will have to go through waivers, it is highly unlikely that another team would claim him due to his massive contract (see John-Michael Liles).

Do you think the Canadiens should keep Desharnais around, trade him or simply demote him?



Money is money, but its not my money. I don't care how much he gets paid to play in Hamilton. He's useless to the club right now, and only taking a roster spot from someone more deserving. Send him somewhere to try and rediscover his ability. Humble him a little. Make him earn more than just a fat paycheque.

This loser got points basically because Eric Cole and Pacioretty, (when he wants to play) made DD look better than he was..Who told Bergevin to give him all those years on just a seasons work, we just got over the Giont fiasco, and this loser GM does this, then signs another midget loser in Briere..Habs fans deserve what they get.

I saw where a Habs poll shows Marc Bergevins popularity really taking a nosedive , and no wonder, you have a soft Plekanec , and want Desharnais to be a second line center, so what about the growth of centers Lars Eller and Galchenyuk, the Desharnais signing should get MB fired.

Habs lost to a team that just lost it's best scorer, question, Montreal has so called "Smaller skilled players' like Briere, DD, Gionta, Boullion, and Diaz, right?? Well, almost 20 games in and Those Five players have like a Cobined 20, TWENTY points total...I see the Small, but, where's the Skill

Also would like to add, the core of this team is with the EGG Line, Bournival, defenders Markov, Subban,Emelin, Tinordi and Beaulieu..See what you can get for the others, I a tired of watching Plekanec and Pacioretty play soft, add Desharnais, Bourque, Gionta, White and Moen, and see what you can get..None of those players are Top line fowards..Also needed to draft Anthony Mantha , all they had to do was trade a second or thirs rounder and move up a few spots..Instead, we're probably stuck with another Turner Stevenson in this kid McCarron...Timmins sucks!!

Most of the comments above ae really awesome, When will Habs fans start getting tired of the losing. this was once a franchise that had more championships than the NY Yankees.. Dont you know who you are?? What really changed this teams destiny years ago was when they didnt let Scotty Bowman become GM. We havent had a good one for two decades..Also, Detroit ass't GM Jim Nill said "No" to the Habs offer two years ago, and is now in Dallas.. We better start asking why high quality management as well as player types want no part of Montreal. This team has became a total embarrassment to those that came before and carried the torch. A Damn shame.

To be fair, Turner Stevenson had a 13 year NHL career, winning a Stanley Cup in a penalty-killing role for the Devils. Not too shabby in relation to our other 1990s 1st rounders. I'd say more of a Terry Ryan or Jason Ward if you wanted to call McCarron a flame out already. I won't.

I agree with Nick, Stevenson was not that bad. I bet if he played on the Habs right now, he will be better than Moen. He will be leading the forwards in hits. He what the Habs need for size and grit and can pot 10 goals a year.

The Habs are mediocre since 20 years I understand that people whine ! Instead of tanking 3-4 years ago they lost all their players for nothing in return @UFA and dumbass Gainey even traded our best young Dman along with Subban(McDonagh) and decided to build a ''fast midgets'' club.

The future would be so brighter right now honestly... that McDonagh vs Gomez trade was hands down one of the worst in Habs 100 years history.

And habs fans wonder why stars don't want to come to montreal, look no further than these comments. Personal insults hurled at player because of poor performance.... I hate to say it but my fellow habs fans are among the worst fans in the world, and you can thank yourselves that we got Briere instead of Lecavalier. Losers, every single one of you.

MB hasn't got very good value for his signings. DD..3.5, Brierre..4.0 and Paros 1.5. How many pts do these three have? I think we can count them on 1 hand.

Agree with all the Anon posters. Habs fan are to blind to see that a total rebuild from ground up was needed 15 years ago. Each GM that came in did the same old thing. Patch up the holes with bandages instead of finding the real solution. There you go Habs fans. The pressure you put on the team to be instant winners is the cause of the Habs being mediocre for the last 20 years. Teams like Chic. Pit, and Col had to rebuild and look at them now. Don't look at Edm because somehow their mgmt team can't put their talent together.

He's only a 3.5 million dollar mistake. He can be buried in the minors, or he might get his game back.

DD was a surprise mistake - he showed grit and an ability to create points despite his size a la Gallagher. Was the money and term a bit much? Maybe, but again - he was producing both in the NHL and with the Dogs.

A rebuild period? As MB, and Bowman, and Pollack would say - you're always building. No need to collapse the team in order to keep building because there are some great pieces already in place. What MB needs to do is take some bold steps - which has been a downfall of the entire Canadiens organization since Savard.

Bold steps? Let Subban play his game. Put Eller in the #1 slot to see how he'll do - Pleks is great, but he hasn't shown #1 ability - more like #2. Tell Therrien to let the players play and make a system that matches the players offensive abilities- if he can't, fire him. Hire Nolan - he had that ability and still had a good defensive team (more than I can say for GM-killer Keenan). Finally - put Eller with Bourque - I'm curious what those two can do.

Why would people here call all Habs fans losers? I know the Habs have a lot of fans throughout Canada. We take exception . I'm from Manitoa

If you call all Habs fans losers it makes you a BIG TIME LOSER

Losing to the NY Rangers tonight, a team we will be battling for a playoff spot, and am noticing this player Chris Kreider, a 6ft3 speedy power foward that is the best player tonight. Is he the kid Trevor Timmins passed up when we took Louis Leblaanc, wow.

@Anonymous, seems our Habs really like helping the NY Rangers team over the years, First we Gave them Ryan McDonagh in the Scott Gomez fiasco, which put Us in salary cap straight and freed up cap space for New York, then we let Kreider slip to them. What a loser organization the Habs have been for two decades now,

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