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New GM Marc Bergevin completed his first trade on Tuesday afternoon and it is by no means as stunning as Monday's sudden departure of Scott Gomez. The club announced that it had swapped minor league defencemen with Florida; the Habs picked up Jason DeSantis while sending Brendon Nash to the Panthers. The two were dealt for each other in the AHL back on January 3rd.
The 5'11 DeSantis signed with Florida prior to the lockout after a strong 2011-12 campaign with St. John's of the AHL where he was on a minor league contract. He finished 3rd in points with the IceCaps, picking up 11 goals, 32 assists, and 58 PIMS in 66 games. 2012-13 hasn't gone quite so well for him. He struggled with San Antonio of the AHL with just two goals and nine points with the Rampage before being dealt to the Bulldogs two weeks ago. In four contests with Hamilton, he has a goal and an assist. The 26 year old blueliner will remain with Hamilton and will not be at Montreal's training camp.
Nash came to the Habs following the 2009-10 NCAA season where he played for Cornell University. His rookie AHL campaign was a pleasant surprise to most as he collected 30 points in 75 games and earned a two game stint with the Canadiens. Things went downhill from there though as he missed all of last year due to injury and had slipped down the Bulldogs defensive depth chart as the season progressed. He had a goal and seven helpers in 26 games with the Bulldogs before joining the Rampage where he is pointless in four contests.
Speaking of the Bulldogs, they continued to be active on the signing front, inking two more players to tryout contracts. The newcomers are forward Riley Armstrong (brother of Habs' forward Colby) and defenceman Mark Isherwood. Both of them have been playing with Utah of the ECHL along with Ian Schultz who also was recalled today. All three are likely to play in Hamilton's next two games, a pair of road contests in Abbotsford against the Heat. Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins also cleared waivers Tuesday and has been re-added to the roster.
On the training camp front, both Tomas Plekanec (ribs) and Petteri Nokelainen (back) skated today away from the team. The Habs remain hopeful that Plekanec will be ready to go Saturday against Toronto. Mike Commodore (undisclosed) did not skate but is expected to practice tomorrow. It appears we'll be waiting a bit longer for P.K. Subban to re-sign, his agent Don Meehan noted that there were no talks between him and Bergevin regarding a new contract.
DeSantis' Career Statistics
- Official Press Release