The Rise of Guillaume Desbiens
September 30 2010
As the NHL pre-season comes to a close for the Vancouver Canucks, there is still stiff competition amongst a group of players to make the opening day lineup.
And not surprisingly, in the thick of things is Guillaume Desbiens.
The 25-year old winger of Alma, Quebec has turned heads with his big hits, big frame and the willingness to drop the gloves for big fights.
Guillaume Desbiens scored 34 points in 67 games last year for the Moose.
It would seem that his combination of size, grit and a surprising amount of offensive ability gives Desbiens the inside track to a bottom-6 job with the Canucks. After all, management specifically targeted the third and fourth lines as not being physical or effective enough to come through in last year's playoffs.
The 6'2, 210-pound winger seems to be a solution for that issue. Armed with a big, strong body and able to fight and win battles in the corners, the insertion of Desbiens could give the third or fourth lines more bite per shift. So far, Desbiens has played up to that stereotype-- hitting early and often in the games he's played in and making his presence felt.
In addition to his impressive pre-season, Desbiens also has a very short experience with the big club. He was a call-up last year, making his debut in the NHL on October 11 of 2009 where he played under ten minutes on a line with Kyle Wellwood and Tanner Glass. The Canucks would eventually defeat the Dalls Stars 4-3 in that game.
While newcomer Victor Oreskovich may challenge Desbiens for a similar spot in the lineup, Desbiens also boasts impressive numbers in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose.
He was a key player in 08-09 when the Moose went all the way to the Calder Cup Finals. Scoring 4 goals and 12 points in 22 games, Desbiens' size and toughness was key in creating more room for his more dangerous linemates; former Canucks Michael Grabner and Jason Krog.
Multifaceted winger Guillaume Desbiens
Last season, he took it a step further and posted 9 points in 6 playoff games as the Moose were eventually eliminated in the first round.
Off the ice, Desbiens is also involved with the community and is known for his strong character. As the recipient of the QMJHL's Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2005, there are no questions that Desbiens' character shines in and out of the locker-room. His personality fits his playing style- a hard worker who never takes anything for granted.
So whether Desbiens laces up as a Moose or an Orca this year, he will undoubtedly play a pivotal role to either team. A fierce warrior who personifies what it means to be a hockey player, the rise of Guillaume Desbiens is one worth watching.