Desharnais gives Bulldogs back-to-back player honours


Hamilton Bulldogs centre David Desharnais has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for December.

Desharnais led all American Hockey League scorers with 17 assists and 20 points in 14 games for the North Division-leading Bulldogs. He is the second straight Hamilton player to earn the award, following Max Pacioretty who was November’s selection.

Desharnais found the score sheet in 12 of his 14 December games and was leading the AHL in scoring at the time of his recall to the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 31.

He had two assists in a 3-2 shootout win over Abbotsford on Dec. 1 and dished out five more helpers in four games from Dec. 4-12. Desharnais then recorded a point in seven straight games (3 goals, 10 assists) to finish the month, including a four-point night on Dec. 21 at Houston that saw him score two shorthanded goals and a three-assist effort in a 3-2 win vs. Lake Erie on Dec. 30.

In recognition of his achievement, Desharnais will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Bulldogs home game.

Desharnais is currently tied for first in the AHL with assists and ranks second with 45 points in 35 games played for Hamilton. He is also third in the league with 21 power-play points and sports a plus-14 rating overall. The fourth-year pro from Quebec City shared fourth in the AHL scoring race with 78 points in 60 games in 2009-10 and now shows 62 goals and 122 assists for 184 points in 183 career AHL games with Hamilton and Bridgeport.

Desharnais, 24, signed as a free agent with Montreal on Nov. 5, 2008 and has appeared in seven career NHL games with the Canadiens, including one this season.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Player of the Month include Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving, Binghamton center Corey Locke, Bridgeport center Jeremy Colliton, Charlotte right wing Jerome Samson, Chicago right wing Spencer Machacek, Connecticut centre Kris Newbury, Grand Rapids left wing Tomas Tatar, Houston left wing Robbie Earl, Lake Erie center Patrick Rissmiller, Manchester center Oscar Moller, Manitoba goaltender Eddie Lack, Peoria centre T.J. Hensick, Portland center Paul Byron, Rochester right wing Michal Repik, Rockford center Jeff Taffe, San Antonio right wing Petr Prucha, Springfield left wing Matt Calvert, Texas center Travis Morin, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Corey Potter and Worcester right wing Jonathan Cheechoo.

Hamilton will return to the ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5th when they travel to Grand Rapids to battle the Griffins for a 7 p.m. game.