Player of the Month goes to Desharnais

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Hamilton Bulldogs center David Desharnais has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for December. Desharnais led all AHL scorers with 17 assists and 20 points in 14 games for the North Division-leading Bulldogs.

Desharnais found the scoresheet in 12 of his 14 games played in December and was leading the AHL in scoring at the time of his recall to Montreal on Dec. 31. He had a pair of 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 (3g, 10a) 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 35 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 center 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 center 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.