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Canadiens re-sign backup Peter Budaj for two seasons

By Brian Stubits | Hockey writer

Budaj and his Ned Flanders mask will be sticking around in Montreal longer. (Getty Images)
Peter Budaj and his Ned Flanders mask will be sticking around in Montreal longer. (Getty Images)

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The Montreal Canadiens have liked what they've seen from Peter Budaj as their backup goalie, so they signed him to a two-year extension on Wednesday.

The deal is worth $2.8 million total, or $1.4 million per season, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

Since signing with the Canadiens before last season, Budaj hasn't been asked to play a lot behind Canadiens starter Carey Price, but when he has been called on he's been serviceable to say the least. This season he has played in eight games, going 6-1-0 with a .917 save percentage and 2.28 goals against average. For a backup, those are pretty good numbers. You could certainly do worse.

The new contract represents a slight raise from the $1.15 million cap hit that Budaj is carrying right now, but that's to be expected with his solid numbers. Still, it's not a huge increase; the Canadiens are dealing with the realities of a declining salary cap, so they had to be careful how much they spent on the backup spot.

Starting next season, the Canadiens will be paying a total of $7.9 million for their goalies --not a bad sum for the whole of their parts; i.e. their production.

Budaj, 30, came to the Canadiens from Colorado, where he had received the bulk of the starts. His last season with the Avs, in 2010-11, he started 45 games. For his career he has just a .903 save percentage even with two solid years backing up Price in Montreal, so he has clearly found a better fit.

S/t to the invaluable Cap Geek for the salary cap numbers

 
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