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On Thursday, the Habs made a deal to change up their goaltending depth, swapping third string goaltenders with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gone is Cedrick Desjardins while in return, Montreal acquires 23 year old Dustin Tokarski, a former member of Team Canada at the 2009 World Juniors. Tokarski has been assigned to Hamilton and could be available for their next game on Friday.
This marks the second time that the Canadiens have dealt Desjardins, who joined the organization as an undrafted free agent. He was previously traded in August of 2010 (to Tampa Bay no less) in exchange for Karri Ramo who was flipped to Calgary last season as part of the Mike Cammalleri-Rene Bourque deal. Both of the 27 year olds' NHL starts were with the Bolts, one of which was against the Habs. Desjardins has struggled with the Bulldogs this season (although you could say that about just about everyone), posting just seven wins in 22 starts. On the year, he has a 7-13-2 record with a 2.94 GAA and .905 SV%, his worst numbers since becoming a full time AHL goalie in 2008-09.
Tokarski was a member of the Calder Cup winning Norfolk Admirals last season, playing in 14 of their 18 playoff games en route to the title, posting a 12-2 record in the process. His numbers with Syracuse (Tampa Bay's new affiliate) have taken a small dip this season but are still decent - an 18-8-4 record with a 2.46 GAA and a .900 SV%. He was Tampa Bay's 5th round pick (122nd overall) in the 2008 draft. He also has a Memorial Cup victory under his belt back in 2007-08.
Tokarski is in year five of his three year entry level deal (and no, that's not a typo) with a cap hit of $672,222 (including $80,000 of performance bonuses). Unlike Desjardins, he is waiver exempt for the remainder of this season. He has a little bit of NHL experience under his belt, making seven appearances and posting a 1-3-1 record with a 3.54 GAA and a subpar .871 SV%. As the potential UFA market for backup goalies is a little thin, one would have to believe there's a chance Tokarski could be in the mix to back up Carey Price next season.
- Official Press Release