Thursday may have been Valentine’s Day, but the love affair between Hamilton Bulldogs goaltender Cédrick Desjardins and the Montreal Canadiens is over.
The Bulldogs parent National Hockey League affiliate traded Desjardins to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for puck stopper Dustin Tokarski. Tokarski is scheduled to join his new American Hockey League teammates at Friday’s (Feb. 15) morning skate.
Desjardins, 27, had been a member of the Montreal organization from 2006-10 before returning to the Canadiens on July 1, 2012 as a free agent. This season with the Bulldogs, the native of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Desjardins had a record of 7 wins, 13 losses and two overtime losses with a 2.94 goals against average while the Bulldogs have struggled throughout the season.
His best campaign with Hamilton came in the 2009-10 season when he had 29 wins in 47 games.Tokarski, 23, has played 33 games with the AHL Syracuse Crunch this season posting 18 wins, eight losses and four overtime defeats, producing a 2.46 goals against average and .900 save percentage. During the past regular season, Tokarski played 45 regular season games for the Norfolk Admirals registering 32 wins, 11 losses and no overtime losses along with a 2.23 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
The native of Humboldt, Saskatchewan helped the Admirals capture the 2012 Calder Cup last season by recording 12 wins and two losses, a 1.46 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in 14 playoff games. The 5’11’’, 198-pound netminder suited up in five games for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season and had one 1 win, three losses and an overtime loss with a 3.44 goals against average and a .879 save percentage.
Tokarski played for Norfolk from 2009 through 2012, minding the net in 146 games and posting an 80-56-7 record along with a 2.47 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.
Prior to turning professional, he played three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League compiling a total regular season record of 77 wins, 39 losses and seven overtime losses with a 2.18 goals against average and a .925 save percentage in 129 games. During the 2008-09 season, Tokarski recorded the league’s best goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.937). He also helped lead Team Canada to a Gold medal during the 2009 Under-20 World Junior Championship.
In 2007-08, Tokarski led the Spokane Chiefs to a Memorial Cup Championship while being named the Memorial Cup Most Outstanding Goaltender as well as capturing the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
He was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the fifth round, 122nd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
The Bulldogs’ next game is against the Hershey Bears at Copps Coliseum on Friday (Feb. 15) at 7:30 p.m.