Former Montreal Canadiens Whipping Boy Has QMJHL Jersey Retired

Spengler Cup Davos 2022 - Day 1
Spengler Cup Davos 2022 - Day 1 / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens are a storied franchise that has a lot of numbers hanging in the rafters of the Bell Centre. You don't see many Canadiens wearing single digit numbers and that is because most of them are retired and can not be worn by an active player.

David Desharnais is not one of those players that will have his number hanging up by the 24 Stanley Cup banners, but he did have his jersey retired by the Chicoutimi Sagueneens for his excellence while playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Desharnais was an incredible story on his rise from undrafted NHL player to first line center with the Montreal Canadiens. He played one full season in the ECHL where he scored 106 points in 68 games with the Cincinatti Cyclones. He added 33 points in 22 playoff games that season before finally getting a chance at the AHL level.

He didn't stop scoring there, putting up 24 goals and 58 points in 77 games as a rookie and 78 points in 60 games the following season. He had another 45 points in 35 games in the 2010-11 season before finally getting a chance with the Canadiens where he continued to impress.

He had 22 points in 43 games that season and piled up 60 points in his first full NHL season in 2011-12. He has seasons of 48 and 52 points as well but quickly fell from that scoring pace when he had 29 points in 68 games in 2015-16. He was making $3.5 million and constantly playing on the team's first line which made him a bit of a target among the fan base for a few years before he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Brandon Davidson.

Going from undrafted player to 60 point NHLer is an impressive story. An odd part of the story is that he was undrafted after an exceptional QMJHL career.

Desharnais played every game of his four year QMJHL career with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and was remarkable. He scored 126 goals and 374 points in 262 games over four years and topped it off with consecutive 100 point seasons including a career high 118 points in 63 games in 2005-06.

Desharnias is still in the top 75 all-time points in the QMJHL and the Sagueneens rightly decided to retire his number 15 last night.

There is no question Montreal Canadiens fans eventually became frustrated with Desharnais' role with the team when he was struggling toward the end of his NHL career. But that does not take away the fact he was an unbelievable player at the QMJHL level and a fantastic story of perseverance and dedication to the game of hockey.