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The time Richard Martel almost replaced David Desharnais with Patrick Roy at Quebec Remparts

The time Richard Martel almost replaced David Desharnais with Patrick Roy at Quebec Remparts

Richard Martel has managed David Desharnais for almost his entire career with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. However, in 2007, he came very close to trading his 20-year-old star player to their biggest rivals, the Quebec Remparts.

• Read also: David Desharnais, immortalized by the Sags: “No one doubted that he would achieve such success among the professionals”

The Remparts had just won the Memorial Cup in Moncton in 2006, and from the ensuing draft, Patrick made Roy Martel realize he had great interest in Desharnais and that he would be willing to pay top dollar to get him.

Quebec were once again aiming for top honors with the return of some important players from the 2006 champion edition, including Brent Aubin, Angelo Esposito, Felix Petit and Maxime Lacroix. The team also got their hands on brothers Ruslan and Roman Bashkirov, about whom a lot of good things have been said.

“He was missing a guy like David Desharnais, and I think if we had sent him, other deals could have been done. He started talking to us about it in the draft and it gave him a big boost over the holidays.”

Not an attractive enough offer

For their part, the Saxons were at a crossroads. Maxime Boisclair, Stanislav Lasek, Marek Zagraban and company left and the team now had to prepare for the next generation.

There is no doubt that Desharnais would have allowed the organization to land an interesting major prize in the future.

“It was hot. It was taking a lot out of me if I was going to trade David, but I felt like what Patrick was giving me wasn't enough. He did everything. For my part, I knew that if I sent it to Quebec, they would win the President's Cup.” So I had to be convinced that what he was offering me would be worth it.

After numerous attempts, Martel finally decided not to trade Descharnay not only to Quebec, but elsewhere, depriving himself of the return he could have made.

“There were those who were angry with me because I didn't replace it with Reconstruction,” he admits. Looking back, I'm very happy to know that David Desharnais will have his shirt retired as a 100% member of the Saguenays squad. That's what great players do: they start and finish at home. “My only regret is that I didn't win with him in the squad.”

Few movements

The Remparts were ultimately not very active during the offseason trade, with their biggest deal being the acquisition of 20-year-old defenseman Billy Bezzo from the Victoriaville Tigres in exchange for a fifth-round pick. Quebec finished tenth in the overall classification and lost in five games in the first round to the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

The Sags also suffered a quick setback in the first round, in just four games against the eventual finalists, Val-d'Or Foreurs.

“He doesn't know how successful he will be in the organization.”

Patrick Roy

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David Desharnais has marked the history of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, and it is no coincidence that the organization makes it its thirteenthH Eternal, Friday evening. Everyone around him knows this except him.

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At least that's what emerged from our conversations with those who knew him at one point or another during his QMJHL journey. Despite all his success, Desharnais remains as humble as possible about his accomplishments.

“He knows not only how good he was for the Saguenéens organization, but also how much he helped people in hockey. “We filled in for Jorge Vezina over and over again in his era, and even Pepsi's position when we went to Quebec,” recalls Jerome Mesonero, the Sags' head of recruiting. that time.

His line partner, who scored 70 goals in 70 appearances for him in 2005-06, Maxime Bouclier, couldn't agree more.

“He's a humble guy who doesn't like to talk about himself too much. He probably doesn't realize the impact he's had. If I had one word to sum it up, it would be valuable. He's a guy who set an example for everyone in the way he conducted himself on and off the ice and showed the way for the young guys who followed him. And far from Statistics, this is where he made his mark.

A player to be reckoned with, despite everything

For his coach at the time, Richard Martel, Desharnais may not have been aware of the talent he possessed.

“He's very humble. I don't know if he knew he was that good. I remember very well that he thought that without Boisclair and Lascek, he would be a less good player. I'm not sure he knew his true worth. David played in the NHL! Many people jumped when he got to There. When he played as a rookie, we always talked about Maxime Talbot or Sidney Crosby and those guys resented David, but he wasn't far behind them.

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Still very humble

A few days before the event, Desharnais was still struggling to fully comprehend the extent of what he had accomplished with the SAGs, as well as what the honor that would be presented to him represented, when Newspaper Talk to him.

Recently retired, he is just beginning to sum up his improbable career. Despite everything, he remains very humble again.

“When you play, you are focused and you have to perform well and always be 100% ready. You don't have time to think about the past and what you have achieved. Then you stop, you start playing in the leagues and you realize that you have no worse qualities on the ice than some people and that They like that. When you play, you take it for granted.

“We're not doing it for the sake of it, but it would be so much better if I could make an impact on an organization and a generation.”

This appears to be the case.

David Desharnais with Saguenéens in numbers

Season by season

2003-2004: 70 games, 23 goals, 28 assists, 51 points

2004-2005 season: 68 games, 32 goals, 65 assists, 97 points

2005-2006: 63 games, 33 goals, 85 assists, 118 points

2006-2007 season: 61 games, 38 goals, 70 assists, 108 points


126 Goal 12H In the history of the Saguenéens

248 passes 5H In the history of the Saguenéens

374 points 7H In the history of the Saguenéens

* He is the only player in history to have won the Frank-J.-Selke Trophy (Most Gentleman Player) three times in a row.