Lightning trades Dustin Tokarski to Canadiens for Cedrick Desjardins
The Lightning on Thursday traded one minor league goaltender for another as it shipped Dustin Tokarski to the Canadiens for Cedrick Desjardins, and Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman was clear he believed the Lightning made at least a short-term upgrade at AHL Syracuse.
"We felt in the event we needed to recall a goalie due to injury (to either Anders Lindback or Mathieu Garon), we weren’t comfortable with our options right now,” Yzerman said. “And with Cedrick, we’re more comfortable that if we needed to recall a goaltender due to injury, that he’s more ready to do that.”
Yzerman also said the goaltending, generally, at Syracuse “hasn’t been up to par. We want to give our team the best opportunity to make the playoffs and, hopefully, do well in the playoffs. So, We were looking to upgrade there, too.”
Desjardins, 27, was in the Lightning organization, and played in two NHL games in 2010-11. He won both with a 1.00 goals-against average and .968 save percentage.
Tampa Bay, though, decided against re-signing Desjardins because of a serious shoulder injury that required surgery. Yzerman said the injury isn’t an issue, and Desjardins, in 27 games this season for AHL Hamilton, is 7-13-2 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.
He also is well-known to Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who coached him at Rimouski of the junior Quebec league and Hamilton in 2009-10.
Desjardins’ contract, which pays $600,000 if he is in the NHL, expires after this season. As for re-signing him, Yzerman said, “We’ll see how the rest of the year goes.”
Tokarski, 23, who is in the last season of his deal, is 18-8-8 this season for Syracuse with a 2.46 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. He was 32-11-0 last season with AHL Norfolk with a 2.23 goals-against average and .913 save percentage and helped lead the Admirals to an AHL title.
Tokarski also played five games last season with the Lightning and did not do well, going 1-3-1 with a 3.45 goals-against average and .879 save percentage.
“We wish him good luck,” Yzerman said. “He was a good player for us. He did a good job for us last year and it’s good for him. He gets an opportunity in a new organization. After four years maybe that’s a good thing for him.”
Other stuff from the morning skate: Anders Lindback, who was supposed to get the start tonight against the Capitals, apparently was ill, did not skate and will not play tonight. Mathieu Garon gets the start. Neither Yzerman nor Boucher could say whether Lindback would dress, though Yzerman said he did not expect to need Desjardins. … It seems as if, though it is not official, defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron and Brendan Mikkelson and right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie will be scratched.