With less than two days left before season opening rosters are due, the Habs
cleared up their goaltending logjam on Sunday afternoon. The team
announced that they have traded veteran Peter Budaj along with prospect Patrick
Holland to Winnipeg in exchange for left winger Eric Tangradi, who cleared
waivers on Saturday.
Last season, Tangradi spent the entire season in Winnipeg’s roster but played
just a sparing role. In 55 games, he collected just three goals and three
assists with a -6 rating and 21 PIMS. He also collected 105 hits and 17
blocked shots while averaging 8:38 of ice time per game. In his career,
the 6’4 winger has suited up in 135 NHL games, picking up five goals and ten
assists. Tangradi was the 42nd overall pick in 2007 by Anaheim. He
has already been assigned to Hamilton and as his $675,000 one-way salary is
below $925,000 (the minimum salary plus $375,000), there will be no cap penalty
to the Canadiens for sending him down.
Budaj had a good run with Montreal, serving as the second string goalie for
the past three seasons. Last year, he posted a 10-8-3 record in 24 games
with a respectable 2.51 GAA and a .909 SV%. Over his time with the Habs,
he was 23-16-9 with a 2.47 GAA and a .910 SV%. Prior to his time with the
Canadiens, he had spent six seasons with Colorado.
Holland was acquired in early 2012 as part of the Mike Cammalleri deal.
After a strong junior career, he earned an entry-level pact with the Habs but
his offensive prowess has failed to translate to the pro level so far.
Last year, he collected just 17 points in 59 AHL games though he did see five
games of action with the big club. Earlier this offseason, he was ranked
25th overall on HW’s prospect rankings.
The trade frees up a full-time roster spot for Dustin Tokarski, who now slots
in as the undisputed #2 goalie behind Carey Price. Presumably, the Habs
were hesitant to expose him to waivers after his strong showing in the 2014
postseason. It also frees up $837,500 in cap space for the Canadiens as
they did not retain any of Budaj’s salary. They now sit roughly $3.5
million under the cap before bonuses.
With Tangradi already AHL-bound, there are now just 25 players remaining in
training camp with likely one defenceman and one forward to be cut. Those
cuts will be announced by Tuesday’s 5 PM EST deadine for teams to submit their