"Rico" always played a highly intelligent and structured game. Perhaps it was no coincidence, then, that he played the best hockey of his Flyers career under the structured approaches implemented by Murray, Roger Neilson and Ken Hitchcock. It was under Hitchcock that Desjardins experienced a latter-career revival after a couple of uneven seasons both for the team and for himself.
Two of the defensemen's best offensive seasons came in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, the first of which saw him record 51 points (15 G, 36 A) in just 68 games. The following year, Desjardins posted 55 points (14 G, 41 A) in 80 games. He was named a second-team postseason NHL All-Star in both seasons and finished in the top five in Norris Trophy voting in both of those years.
Desjardins was a seven-time Barry Ashbee Award winner as the Flyers' best defenseman, which is a franchise high, and was a three time NHL All-Star Game participant - once with Montreal in 1992 (a game played at the Spectrum) and twice with the Flyers, in 1996 and 2000. Internationally, he played for Team Canada at the 1985-86 and 1986-87 World Junior Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup, 1996 World Cup of Hockey and 1998 Winter Olympics.
Overall for his NHL career, Desjardins played 1,143 regular season games (136 goals, 439 assists, 575 points, 757 penalty minutes) and 168 playoff games (23 goals, 57 assists, 80 points, 93 penalty minutes).