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Ducks Acquire Center Lapierre from Montreal

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks have acquired center Maxim Lapierre from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Brett Festerling and a fifth round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Lapierre, 25 (3/29/85), has appeared in all 38 contests for the Canadiens this season, scoring 5-3=8 points with 63 penalty minutes (PIM). He led the club in both hits (104) and PIM. He had a career year in 2008-09 when the 6-2, 207-pound centerman scored 15-13=28 points with 76 PIM. Lapierre scored his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal on Dec. 29, 2008 at Florida. A native of St. Leonard, Quebec, Lapierre made his NHL debut for Montreal on Nov. 15, 2005 vs. Florida and scored his first career NHL goal on Dec. 14, 2006 vs. Tampa Bay (Denis). He appeared in his 200th career NHL contest on Nov. 17, 2009 vs. Carolina.

"Max brings great energy and he works hard all night long," said Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray. "He feels he can contribute more and we are going to give him an opportunity to do so. We feel he can be a real good two-way player and that this is an upgrade on our bottom six. But we will see where he fits."

The trade for Lapierre comes in the wake of center Ryan Getzlaf  being placed on the IR with a facial injury, but Murray said the trade isn't related to that. "This trade really doesn’t have anything to do with Getzlaf’s injury," he said. "We wanted to upgrade forward groupings and we had an eye on Max. He’s a guy we wanted."

Selected by Montreal in the second round (61st overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Lapierre has appeared in 293 career NHL contests, scoring 40-40=80 points with 284 PIM. He has also appeared in 35 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests, scoring 3-4=7 points with 52 PIM. He advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Canadiens in 2009-10, scoring the game-winning goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Pittsburgh on May 10, 2010, forcing a Game 7.

Festerling, 24 (3/3/86), has appeared in 32 contests for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, scoring 3-9=12 points with 41 PIM. He appeared in one contest for Anaheim this season, going scoreless. In 83 career NHL contests, the Quesnel, British Columbia native has scored 0-8=8 points with 33 PIM and a +4 rating. Signed by Anaheim as a free agent on Sept. 14, 2005, Festerling has also collected 6-32=38 points with 163 PIM in 168 career AHL contests.

Lapierre spoke briefly over the phone from his hotel room in Florida, where he was in town to play the Panthers with the Canadiens.

I’m really happy to be part of the Anaheim Ducks now. It looks like a great organization and a great group of guys. It is a bit of a shock for me right now. I have been with the Montreal Canadiens for a long time and it’s a weird feeling to get traded. I’m leaving tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. out of  Fort Launderdale.

On re-joining Koivu, Chipchura and Mara, who he played with in Montreal
Saku is a great leader. He was my captain when I started in the NHL. It’s a really good feeling for me to join him back in Anaheim. Chipper is a great guy too and a hard worker. I had fun with him. We won the Cup in Hamilton in the AHL together. Paul Mara, I didn’t really know him for a long time. We had fun last year together and he is another great guy. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun with the Ducks.

On leaving Montreal
It’s a little bit hard, but at the same time I needed a new start somewhere else. Anaheim is the perfect spot for me to have that start.
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