Player Profile: Peter Budaj

Peter Budaj has been the backup goalie in Montreal for 3 seasons now, and he has been solid, reliable and a leader for each one. Since his arrival on July 1st 2011, Budaj has done all that can be asked out of a back-up. In a Montreal uniform he has a very respectable 23-16-9 record primarily as Carey Price’s reliever, however he has started in the past when Price was hurt. His fate is sealed in Montreal as the second goaltender.

The native of Banska, Bystrica, Slovakia was drafted by the Avalanche in 2001, after playing one season of junior hockey with the Toronto St Michael’s Majors of the OHL. He would play two more seasons with the Majors and represent Slovakia in the World Juniors from 2000-2002. He broke into the league in the 05-06 season, playing 35 games finishing with a record of 14-10-6. The next season was a great one for Budaj, arguably his career best. He played 57 games with a record of 31-16-6 and a 2.68 goals against. From then on his role diminished, he played parts of 4 more seasons with Colorado, before moving on to Montreal. He finished with a record of 101-91-27 as a member of the Avalanche. He has also represented Slovakia many times in international play, including the 2010 and 2014 Olympic games.

During the Canadiens run to the conference final, Head coach Michel Therrien made the controversial choice to replace the injured Price with rookie Dustin Tokarski, a decision that he was aware of but he didn’t make it known. He acted very maturely about the situation and didn’t take it personally. Which I respected. Would the end result have been different had he started? Very unlikely, but the way he handled it all was incredible.

As for my prediction, I believe Budaj’s role will be shortened this year, due to the emergence of Tokarski, I predict he will play 18 games for the Canadiens, with a record of 10-5-3. I do not believe he will re-sign at the end of the season, his contract does expire on July 1st, 2015. He potentially will get more money and more playing time elsewhere. If this is the case, good luck to him, Budaj was great as a Hab, and brought leadership and maturity to those around him.

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One Response to Player Profile: Peter Budaj

  1. Very well written and I couldn’t agree more. Carey Price is clearly the man between the pipes for the foreseeable future; however, Peter Budaj certainly did his fair share in Montreal on and off the ice. When it comes to professionalism, Peter Budaj is considered first class all the way.

    Marc Ranger August 29, 2014 at 9:14 am Reply

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