HabsWorld.net -- 

Wednesday has been a good day for Peter Budaj.  Not only will he be
getting the nod between the pipes when the Habs travel to Buffalo on Thursday
night, but he also will be staying in Montreal beyond this season as he agreed
to a two year extension.  Although the club did not disclose the financial
terms, Budaj will earn a total of $2.8 million during the deal, for a cap hit of
$1.4 million.

The deal represents a small raise for the Slovakian netminder who is earning
a pro-rated $1.2 million this season in the final year of his two year pact
signed in the 2011 offseason.  This year didn’t get off to a great start
for Budaj as he allowed nine goals in his first two starts, leaving many
wondering if he should be replaced.  However, he has been much improved
since then, allowing just eight goals in the six appearances since then (five
starts and one relief appearance) and has won a career high six straight games. 
In fact, his last loss came over two months ago in Buffalo.

If the season were to end today, Budaj would have a career best in GAA (2.28)
and tie his highest save percentage (.917).  For his career, he has a
112-100-33 record with a 2.79 GAA and .903 SV% with ten shutouts. 

Montreal now has both goaltenders signed for next season at a combined cap
hit of $7.9 million.  That ranks them third out of all NHL teams at the
moment for the amount of money committed to goalies for 2013-14; only Vancouver
and the New York Rangers are spending more.  The Habs now have most of
their team inked for next year already; joining the two goalies are seven signed
blueliners (including Tomas Kaberle who is a likely buyout) and ten forwards.

The move makes Dustin Tokarski’s immediate future with the organization a
little murkier.  Since being acquired from Tampa Bay earlier this season he
has been nothing short of outstanding with the Bulldogs, posting a 6-6 record
with a diminutive 1.73 GAA and a .944 SV%.  Tokarski is a restricted free
agent after the season but will require waivers to play in Hamilton next year.

Budaj’s Career Stats