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Monday, July 11, 2011

Canadiens Sign Peter Budaj and Erik Cole

The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they have signed goaltender Peter Budaj to a two-year contract worth $2.3 million and right wing Erik Cole to a four-year contract worth $18 million. Budaj's deal will pay him $1.15 million per season, while Cole's contract will average out to $4.5 million per year. In 45 games last season with the Colorado Avalanche, Budaj posted a 15-21-4 record, one shutout, a 3.20 GAA, and a .895 save percentage. Cole appeared in all 82 games last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, scoring 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points. These are okay depth signings for the Canadiens. Budaj gives the team a fairly steady backup goaltender, but struggles mightily as a starter. If Carey Price should fall to an injury over the next two years for an extended period of time, Budaj may have a hard time carrying the team in goal. Cole brings plenty of goal scoring skill and some toughness to the forward lines, but injuries have taken a toll on his career and he can be inconsistent in his scoring from time to time. If Cole can play a more consistent game with the Canadiens, he will be an excellent addition to the team. If not, then the boo birds in Montreal will certainly voice their displeasure over his signing.

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