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Desjardins happy to be back with Lightning


By MIKE ASHMORE
Special to ECHL.com
 
We've all been there, right?
 

You're unpacking the last of your belongings in your new apartment, and you get ready to settle down and keep track of a hockey game online. And then, Steve Yzerman sends you a text saying that he needs you to give him a call.

 

OK, so maybe that isn't as commonplace as Cedrick Desjardins made it seem on Tuesday night, when he was casually chatting with reporters outside the Tampa Bay Lightning locker room and detailing just how he found himself back in the National Hockey League.

 

The 27-year-old netminder was part of a Valentine's Day deal that sent him from Montreal -- well, its AHL affiliate in Hamilton, anyway -- back to another old organization of his, Tampa Bay, in exchange for Dustin Tokarski.

 

"I had such a great time in this organization, and it was easy for me to feel comfortable," Desjardins said. "Sometimes, you get in a trade and you don't know anybody. But that wasn't the case this time."

 

The former Cincinnati Cyclones standout and 2008 Kelly Cup Playoffs MVP would be reporting to Syracuse, for whom he'd posted an impressive 1.85 goals against average and .928 save percentage in his first six games. But he hadn't finished moving in yet, didn't even have his cable television set up, when the Lightning GM gave him the news.

 

It marked the first time that Desjardins would put on a Lightning sweater since the 2010-11 season, where he was dazzling in a brief two-game stint with the big club, stopping 61 of 63 shots en route to winning his first two NHL starts.

 

"It brings you confidence, it brings you the fact that you know you're able to play there," Desjardins said. "Every morning, the last couple years, that's the reason I was working extra, so I could have a chance (to go back). When you touch it and have success, you want to do it again."

 

It seemed to be the start of a promising career at the game's highest level. Instead, those two games are the only ones he's played in, but he's remained positive despite consistently putting up outstanding numbers in the American Hockey League.

 

"I trained with Mathieu Garon this summer, and one thing he told me is that the best answer I could have is it's not how long it takes to get to the NHL, it's how long you want to stay there," he said.

 

"It might take a little bit longer for me for some reason, but I don't want to focus on the past, I want to look forward and I want to work towards (getting back). The American League is a great league for me, and it's been very good to get my game better and get ready for an opportunity like (this one)."