The Donald Audette saga in Montreal has come to an end, as Canadiens’ General Manager Bob Gainey announced late Friday that the team has reached a buyout with the winger, making him an unrestricted free agent. Terms of the buyout were not disclosed. Audette struggled out of the gate, notching just 3 goals and 5 assists in 23 games, and consistently found himself a healthy scratch under Canadiens’ Head Coach Claude Julien.
The decision to buyout Audette came after the winger cleared waivers for the second time this week. It had been widely reported by Audette’s agent Gilles Lupien that there were buyout negotiations over the past few weeks, something that was vehemently denied by the Canadiens brass.
He was acquired from the Dallas Stars with Shaun Van Allen, in return for Benoit Brunet and Martin Rucinsky back on November 21, 2001. Neither player acquired by Dallas lasted the season with the team.
No official statement has been released by the Canadiens’ organization or by Audette at this time. Habsworld will continue to follow this story and keep you up to date when any other information is let out.