Habs secure goaltending in the Hammer and other evening links

Robert Mayer (seen here last September) will be challenged by Peter Delmas and Nathan Lawson for the goaltending duties with the Hamilton Bulldogs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With Carey Price and Peter Budaj the no-brainer No.1 and No. 2 goalies for the Montreal Canadiens to start the 2011-12 NHL season, Pierre Gauthier strengthened the depth between the pipes with two signings on Tuesday.

With Curtis Sandford off to greener pastures, that left Robert Mayer as the lone goalie with the Hamilton Bulldogs under contract. Drew MacIntyre, who filled in brilliantly in the Hammer after being acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers, signed on with the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Gauther first signed on Peter Delmas, who saw a couple of games with Hamilton after a season-ending injury to Sandford, to a three-year, two-way deal 

The Nova Scotia native had one of those comeback seasons, after making it into the Canadiens organization on a tryout at last year's rookie camp. Originally picked by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, a hip injury slowed his progress and he became an undrafted free agent in 2010.

He impressed enough during both the Habs rookie and regular training camps that he was assigned to the organization's ECHL affiliate in Wheeling.

He then added Nathan Lawson, who played 10 NHL games last season with the New York Islanders. Lawson is an AHL veteran and will likely battle with Mayer for the top spot with the Bulldogs barring any further deals over the summer.

Canadiens press releases on Delmas and Lawson.

Stats for Peter Delmas

Stats for Nathan Lawson

Scott Radley on the Hamilton Bulldogs future

Elsewhere on the contract front, it appears the Habs and defenceman Josh Gorges are headed to salary arbitration. Both sides, notably Gorges agent Kevin Epp are hopeful of an agreement before arbitration heariongs begin on July 20.

Picard's a Pen: The Pitttsburgh Penguins have signed former Habs defenseman Alexandre Picard to a one-year deal.

Brian Burke responds to Steve Simmons. One of the rare times I'd defend Burke, not that he needs help, but Simmons was way off base with his comments on TSN Friday.

I could do a patriotism rant, but Hockey Wilderness took care of that already. I was also going to praise the Sun columnist on getting his Hall of Fame picks bang on last week, although citing Ed Belfour as having the two greatest goaltending seasons in Toronto Maple Leafs history was a little far fetched, before he threw himself under the bus.

Simmons tries to atone to the masses, or at least Philadelphia Flyers fans, by voicing his thoughts on Fred Shiro's snubbing in the Hockey Hall of Fame

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