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Habs make Budaj their man to backup Price


We now know who will back up Carey Price for the next two seasons. With the free agent market well on it's way, the Montreal Canadiens signed Peter Budaj to a two-year, $2.3 million deal.

Budaj, who will be 29 when the Canadiens start the 2011-12 season, has played all six of his NHL seasons with the Colorado Avalanche.

A native of Slovakia, he played his Junior hockey with the Toronto-St. Michael's Majors before being drafted by the Avs in the second round of the 2001 Entry Draft.

Budaj has a career record of 101-91-27, with a GAA of 2.83. Last season he appeared in 45 games for Colorado, He'll see far fewer playing behind Price. His predecessor, Alex Auld, made 16 appearances in 2010-11.

Mile High Hockey looks at Budaj's last season in the Rocky Mountains.

Elsewhere, James Wisniewski set the pace, signing a 5-year $33 million dollar deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets just before the noon deadline. The Habs top goalie with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Curtis Sanford, has also signed with the BJs.

Jeff Halpern returns for another stint with the Washington Capitals after signing a 1-year, $825,000 deal. He'll be joining Roman Hamrlik, who got his two-year deal by signing with the Caps for $7 million.

Benoit Pouliot went to the Bruins for $1.1 mil. Perhaps he'll find a rejuvenation in Beantown much like Michael Ryder did. The latter is now the Dallas Stars at $7 million over two years.