34-Year-Old Goalie – Tampa Bay Lightning
Peter Budaj Contract Information:
Signed a one-year contract extension with the Kings in March of 2016.
Budaj allowed three goals on 26 shots in Sunday's 6-3 win against the Stars.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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Budaj served another season as a capable backup to Carey Price, posting a save percentage north of .900 for the third consecutive season. While Budaj has been good for Montreal, it's worth noting that coach Michel Therrien went with an untested rookie, Dustin Tokarski, when Price went down with an injury in the post-season. Budaj has one more year remaining on his contract and will continue to be the team's No. 2 goalie, but Budaj's role will not grow any more than that.
Budaj was the Canadiens' backup goalie in 2012-13 and finished the season with a 2.29 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. It's been a good two-year run in Montreal for Budaj, who earned a two-year extension to be with the team through the 2014-15 season. Neither he nor the team holds high expectations. He needs to give Montreal quality back-up play which would allow head coach Michel Therrien to rest Carey Price 25 times.
Budaj has one year remaining on his contract as Carey Price's backup. The veteran backstop played in just 17 games last season, posting a 5-7-5 record with a goals-against average of 2.55. He's worth remembering as a handcuff to Price in deeper leagues and a spot start in daily leagues provided it's a good matchup. Given Montreal's inability to regularly score, as well as some spotty defending, Budaj is the most reliable of NHL backups to stash away in most leagues.
Budaj joins the Canadiens after six seasons in Colorado, where he served as both the lead goalie and backup at various times. He won’t be asked to do much more with the Habs than back up Carey Price and give him a break 20-25 times a year. He’s better than the 3.20 GAA he posted in 2010-11 and should show us better numbers with a better defensive team.
Budaj, who was criticized for his play two seasons ago when he was the Avs' starter, was much better last year as Craig Anderson's backup. Budaj played in only 15 games, but his record was 5-5-2 and his regular season numbers (2.64 GAA, .917 SV%) were nearly identical to Anderson's. He will return to the No. 2 role next season and therefore has fantasy value in only very deep leagues.
It was painful at times last season, watching Budaj play "hot potato" with Andrew Raycroft for the role of No. 1 goalie for the Avs. Budaj would play brilliantly for stretches at a time last year, then suddenly resemble a sieve for three or four games, forcing the coaching staff to go with Raycroft, who would turn around and do much the same thing. Eventually, this inconsistent play by Budaj made everyone around him realize that, though not quite good enough to be a #1 stopper, he would probably be fine as a #2. Thus at season's end, the Avs dispatched Raycroft and went out and signed Craig Anderson who looks to be a true #1 starter in the making. Unless Anderson completely blows a wheel this year, Budaj will not see nearly as much ice time as he has in past seasons. Draft only in the deepest of leagues.
The Avs were counting on a full season with Jose Theodore as their No. 1 stopper this year, with Budaj as the backup. However, Budaj more or less inherited the job by default when Theodore opted to walk away in the offseason via free agency and join the Washington Capitals. So now, with only the mediocre Andrew Raycroft pushing him for ice time, the job is Budaj's to lose. Trouble is, he's been in this situation before, and he's always managed to play his way out of the starting gig due to his inconsistent play. Come February, the Avs won't hesitate to swing a deal for a more dependable starting goalie if they feel they are in the playoff hunt. Buyer beware.
Budaj will open the 2007-08 season as the No. 1 goalie, having outplayed the more expensive Jose Theodore last season.
Budaj opens 2006-07 as the backup to Jose Theodore. Theodore's grip on the position, however, is tenuous. Budaj is an interesting speculative pick for all owners, and a very good pick as insurance if you own Theodore. As a rookie in 2005-06, Budaj was 14-10 with a 2.86 GAA and a .900 save percentage.
Budaj will likely be the second goalie this year, backing up David Aebischer.