Lapierre to Ducks, Desharnais up, Gorges out and other Habs tidbits

BREAKING NEWS: Maxim Lapierre is on his way to the Anaheim Ducks. This is theofficial press release from the Habs

RDS' Renaud Lavoie tweeted that Lapierre demanded a trade earlier this week based on limited ice time.

The deal looks to see D Brett Festerling , a left-handed shot, and a 5th-round pick in 2012 coming to Montreal.

Festerling signed with the Ducks as a free agent in 2005, and has 8 assists in 83 career games with Anaheim, and is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) where he has 12 points in 32 games.

From Hockey's Future: "Festerling is a solid blueliner who skates well and is competent at both ends of the ice. He isn't the type of player who puts up a lot of points, but he can make a safe first pass and doesn't embarrass himself. Not that big, but not that small."

The 24-year-old Festerling was born in Quesnel, BC but is listed on as Prince George. he played his Junior hockey with the Tri-City Americans, defending Carey Price.

He's a stay at home, physical defenceman with 127 hits in 42 games last season with Anaheim. That total was good enough for third on the Ducks.

The Montreal Canadiens, desperate to spring some life to their offense, have called up David Desharnais from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Hopefully this callup is more productive than the 12-hour version earlier this month.

Desharnais leads the Bulldogs and the AHL in scoring with 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 35 games this season.  The Quebec native was on a seven-game point (3 goals, 10 assists) scoring streak, before being called up.

The Canadiens have just nine goals in the first six games of their seven-game road trip, and hopefully his AHL fortune rubs off with the big club.
The move should silence the requests of some French media, who have been screaming for Desharnais callup for some time with soem feeling he should have made the club at training camp.

On the bad news front, defenceman Josh Gorges has been placed on IR, and the move is likely retroactive to December 28 when the BC native missed his first start in 150 games. With Gorges out, it should give Yannick Weber a second chance to prove that he can play at the NHL level at least until Festerling reports to the team.

The Habs face off against the Florida Panthers at 5pm, giving us enough time to start the drinking portion of the New Year's Eve party early. Alex Auld will get the start, and is 2-0-3 with one tie (2.17 GAA, .927 SvPct) against the Panthers.

In another game of interest, Louis LeBlanc and the Team Canada Juniors square off against Sweden at 4pm.

Prior the the Habs loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Kyle Roussel put together his diagnosis on the problems the Habs are facing. This one observation may be spot on.

"As the old saying goes "water finds its own level". Are the Habs simply sinking to where they rightfully belong? Most of us had them pegged as a bubble team anyway. Was their hot start to the season more of the smoke & mirrors that led them to the conference finals?"

Along the same lines, CTV's Arpon Basu looks at the team's mental state in his Daily Hab-it blog, citing the Habs double two many men call as "a brain cramp of potentially unprecedented proportions."

Basu then looks at the Canadiens coach, who he has always had confidence in, and feels it's time he gives his players a talking to.

"I seem to be one of the only ones in the city who thinks he actually had something to do with last season's run in the playoffs. But this is when the coach needs to settle things down in some way.

Whether it's pulling his veterans aside and getting them on board with what he's trying to sell, whether it's making some changes in personnel, whether it's giving an inspiring speech of some kind, Martin needs to do something."

Agreed, just as long as a bowling trip or a walk in the park are not part of the process.

The year in review: Laura from TheActiveStick recaps her hockey, and non-hockey, year. For those not follwing her site,  I stongly suggest it. The girl knows her hockey!

New kid in town: James Wisniewski meets the Montreal media

From the Panthers side via Litter Box Cats

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