Rabid Habs

Perseverance: The David Desharnais Story

Habs' David Desharnais

David Desharnais’ first taste of professional hockey came as an amateur try out contract given to him by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in March of 2007. Unknown at the time, the 5’7 180 pound centre was cut from the AHL club. Now fast forward roughly seven years, 6 months, the undrafted centre has found himself as the first line centre for arguably the most prestigious franchise in sports – the Montreal Canadiens. That’s a long way to travel, especially for a player of his size. So how did this kid from Laurier-Station, Quebec find his way here? The answer is found in one word: Perseverance.

As mentioned before, Desharnais’ first professional stint was a tryout with the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, from which he was cut. After this experience he continued to work, and a short six months later was invited to the Canadiens’ training camp in September 2007. Out of training camp, the Habs must’ve seen something in that small 5’7 frame, as he was assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. From that day (September 24th, 2007) David was bounced from AHL, to ECHL where he earned a plethora of awards, back to AHL and so on. DD was recalled and sent down from the AHL to NHL an astonishing 12 times before finally sticking around for good in December 2010. Three years into his seven year journey, Desharnais had already gone through his share of adversity, having to live with the uncertainty of 1 year deals, as well as bouncing around an organization he grew up loving.  He pushed on which finally landed him a spot where he dreamed he’d always be, dawning the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.

In his half year with the Canadiens, DD racked up 22 points (8G, 14A) in 43 games. Although when the 2011-12 season rolled around, he really had something to prove. The man known by his teammates as “Davey” flew and put up numbers no one had ever thought he could, which amounted to 60 points (16G, 44A) in 81 games, stripping him of the unknown factor throughout the NHL. In 2012-13, what turned out to be a disappointing year for the Habs, David was brought back down to earth with 28 points in 48 games. At this point, doubters arose again questioning the legitimacy of his first line position, pointing to the fact that without his long-time line mate Max Paccioretty, he might not have a job. These voices did not quiet during the first half of this past season, which saw him put up only 2 assists in his first 15 games after signing his 4 year, $14 million dollar deal with the club. At this point, countless articles are being written about DD, at one point the Montreal mayor calls for his assignment to Hamilton. The only guy who never lost hope in David Desharnais, was himself. After his abysmal start, he flew with new power, new strength, to put up 52 points (16G, 32A) in the season, as well as racking up 8 playoff points (2G, 8A).

We have now arrived at the present day, the current point on his long road to being an elite player in this league. Just prior to the opening of training camp, there are still many questions surrounding the Habs and Mr. Desharnais. Although no matter what comes at him, I believe all Habs fans know; David Desharnais will persevere and he will succeed.

Go Habs Go!