Desharnais has no plans to head overseas...yet.
With the NHL and the NHLPA only set to meet on Friday and even then only discussing non-core economic issues, it seems like a resolution isn’t coming any time soon.
But that doesn’t mean hockey fans can’t catch some of the game’s top players lacing up in game action...and they don’t have to go to Europe to see it.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Maxime Talbot and New York Islander’s defenceman Bruno Gervais have organized a series of exhibition games to raise money for charity and to offer some competition for some of the players who would otherwise be relegated to dry land training and half-hearted practices.
The first of the games will take place Thursday at 7pm at the Centre Multisports de Châteauguay (255, boul. Brisebois).
It will feature Montreal Canadiens stars Brian Gionta, Josh Gorges, Colby Armstrong and David Desharnais as well as former Habs Mathieu Darche and Guillaume Latendresse. A number of other Quebec born players from around the league will also take part, including Kris Letang, Danny Briere, Alex Burrows, Marc-Andre Fleury, David Perron, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Simon Gagné.
It’s like Montreal’s own private All-Star game. Oh, and have I mentioned tickets are just $20?
Desharnais says it’s a good way to keep up moral during the lockout.
“Since we’re locked out, we need to stay in shape. We might as well do it with all the boys in Quebec and we may as well help out a charity at the same time.”
It’s the first time Desharnais has experienced a lockout and says while the players would obviously rather be taking part in pre-season games right now instead of charity matches, he understands they have to look at the bigger picture.
“It is frustrating, but at the same time Donald Fehr is going to do a good job and get us a good deal. So we just have to keep doing what we’re doing and stay in shape and be ready if it starts.”
Max Pacioretty is the latest Canadien heading over to play in Europe, the sixth Hab to take his skills overseas. But Desharnais says he has no plans to follow suit, at least not yet.
“Nothing is really great for me there, so i’ll just stick around here. But if I have a great opportunity to go over there, I sure will.”