The Montreal Canadiens announced yesterday that they’ve re-signed backup goaltender Peter Budaj and extended his contract for two years (through 2014-15).
Budaj signed with the Canadiens as a free agent two years ago in July 2011 after spending six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche who drafted him in the second-round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (63rd overall).
Although Budaj backs up one of the elite in Carey Price, he is dependable doing it. He is a steadfast goalie that can get the job done when called to task which is why the Canadiens chose to keep him on board. Despite the fact that Budaj isn’t playing as much as he’s typically used to, he’s playing some of the best hockey of his career which is another reason it was a wise move for the Canadiens to re-sign him. In the nine games he’s played this abbreviated season for Montreal with a record of 7-1-1 and .918 saving percentage and 2.13 goals-against average (GAA). Budaj seems to have a pretty good view of the whole situation and summed it up pretty well:
“It doesn’t matter how old you are; being an athlete, the competitiveness in you is always there. Once you lose that, you lose your whole ability to be an athlete,” explained Budaj, who saw action in just 17 games last year after averaging 40 starts a season in his first six years in the league. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a first line player or a fourth line player; you still have the competitiveness in you. It’s the same with me.
“I know my role on the team right now; I know this is Carey’s team and I’m going to have his back,” he stressed. “I’m going to be preparing like I always have, supporting the team and trying to be ready when I get the chance to play.”
And just tonight, he stopped 14 of 15 shots he faced from the Buffalo Sabres to earn a 5-1 win and help the Habs clinch a playoff spot.