Peter Budaj : biography
Peter Budaj (born September 18, 1982) is a Slovak professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Budaj, a devout Christian, is perhaps best known for having the depiction of Ned Flanders, a popular religious character from TV's The Simpsons painted on the back of his masks. In 2008, Budaj began wearing a mask featuring the character Altaïr from the popular video game Assassin's Creed. The mask primarily worn by Budaj during the 2008–09 season features a burgundy colored version of the comic book hero The Hulk, although he did continue wearing the Assassin's Creed mask as well. Budaj's 2009–10 mask features his racing idol Valentino Rossi on one side, the Avalanche's alternate foot logo on the other, and retains Ned Flanders on the back. Budaj's current mask still has the Ned Flander's image but now also an image of Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi
Peter and his ex-wife Taylor have one son; Peter Jr., who was born in July 2010.
Budaj was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 draft as the first pick for the Avalanche and 63rd overall. He wears number 31 for the Avalanche prior to playing for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Toronto St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
In his first NHL season in 2005–06, he appeared in 34 games while backing up David Aebischer and then José Théodore. He recorded a combined 47 wins in the next two seasons while splitting duties with Théodore. His first NHL playoff appearances came in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs in relief of Théodore in Colorado's second round matchup against the eventual Stanley Cup champions Detroit Red Wings.
Budaj played his 100th NHL game on November 3, 2007, in a 4-3 home loss against the Vancouver Canucks.
For the 2008–09 season, Budaj was named the starting goalie for the Colorado Avalanche for the first time. He and backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft struggled throughout the season as the Avalanche finished last in the Western Conference, missing the playoffs for the second time in last three seasons.
On June 29, 2009, Budaj was re-signed by the Avalanche to a one-year contract for the 2009–10 season. He started the season playing as the Avalanche backup goalie to Craig Anderson, formerly of the Florida Panthers. Before his first appearance in net, Budaj was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus and was completely isolated from the rest of the team until he was cleared to play by the coaching staff. Budaj finally made his first appearance of the season on November 4, against the Phoenix Coyotes. He stopped 28 of 29 shots and backstopped the Avs to a 4-1 victory. Budaj made his second post season appearance on April 22, 2010 against the San Jose Sharks, when he relieved Craig Anderson at 11:05 in the third period. The Sharks won the game 5-0, with one goal scored against Budaj.
On April 1, 2011, Budaj became the first Slovakian goaltender to reach 100 career NHL wins with a 4-3 shootout win over Phoenix.
Budaj signed a two-year contract worth $2.3 million with the Montreal Canadiens on July 1, 2011. During the lockout shortened 2012–13 season, his second year as backup to Carey Price, Budaj carried an 8-1-1 record in 13 games, to earn a two-year contract extension with the Canadiens on April 10, 2013.
Awards & achievements
- 2001–02 OHL Second All-Star Team
- 2006–07 NHL YoungStars Game
Regular season and playoffs
|1999–00||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHL||34||6||18||1||1676||112||1||4.01||.882||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHL||37||17||12||3||1996||95||3||2.86||.907||11||6||4||621||26||1||2.51|
|2001–02||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHL||42||26||9||5||1148||89||2||2.29||.922||12||5||6||620||34||1||3.29||.898|
|Senior int'l totals||10||4||6||0||520||22||0||2.53|
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