On Monday, the Habs made a minor move in goal, dealing Cedrick Desjardins to
the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for the rights to Finnish goalie Karri Ramo.
Desjardins spent last season with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs while Ramo played
for Avangard Omsk in the KHL last season, his first year in Russia.
Ramo, 24, has spent time in North America in recent years, playing 48 NHL games
for Tampa Bay and a total of 77 AHL contests between 2006-2009. The 6th
round pick (191st overall) in 2004 has a career 11-21-10 NHL record with a 3.35
GAA and a .895 save percentage. His AHL record isn’t much better, 26-42-5
with a 3.38 GAA and a .897 SV%. Last year in the KHL, he was 21-17-4 with
a 2.11 GAA and a .913 SV% and was named an All-Star. He has one more season on his KHL deal (with an out clause for this season),
coinciding with the expiration of newly acquired backup Alex Auld’s deal.
Desjardins, 25, had a breakthrough season with the Bulldogs last year, going
29-9-2 with a 2.00 GAA and a .919 SV%, his GAA leading the league. In the
playoffs, he struggled somewhat, losing his starting job to recently re-signed
Curtis Sanford. That said, he still had a respectable 6-4 record with a
2.62 GAA but a .902 SV%. The decision to bring Sanford back basically
sealed his fate that he was likely to move. Robert Mayer will now back up
Sanford. As the Habs don’t currently have an ECHL affiliate (there was a
mutual split), there will likely be no other goaltender being signed to
become the "5th stringer." It should also be noted that unless
Desjardins plays 28 NHL games this year, he will become a Group VI Unrestricted
Free Agent this coming July.
As Desjardins is under contract but not Ramo, this will bring the Habs down
to 47 contracts (when Carey Price signs) out of the maximum of 50, including
potential slide rule players such as Louis Leblanc and Phillipe Lefebvre.