Budaj while playing for the Montreal Canadiens
18 September 1982|
Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)|
Los Angeles Kings|
Tampa Bay Lightning
63rd overall, 2001|
Peter Budaj (// boo-DY; born 18 September 1982) is a Slovak professional ice hockey goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings in the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played for the Colorado Avalanche, by whom he was drafted, the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Budaj was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 draft as the first pick for the Avalanche and 63rd overall. He wore number 31 for the Avalanche after 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.
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 29 June 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 4 November, 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 22 April 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 1 April 2011, Budaj became the first Slovakian goaltender to reach 100 career NHL wins with a 4–3 shootout win over Phoenix.
Budaj signed as a free agent to 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 10 April 2013.
On 5 October 2014, Budaj and Patrick Holland were traded to the Winnipeg Jets in return for Eric Tangradi. He was waived less than a day later. On the following day, he was assigned to the St. John's IceCaps, Winnipeg's American Hockey League affiliate, after clearing waivers. Budaj remained with the IceCaps for the duration of the 2014–15 season, however was unable to impress with the club in failing to win a single game in 19 contests.
Los Angeles Kings
As a free agent from the Jets, Budaj was unable to secure an NHL contract and on 28 August 2015, agreed to sign a try-out contract to attend the Los Angeles Kings training camp. On 9 October 2015 it was announced that Budaj signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Los Angeles Kings and was subsequently waived and assigned to the Ontario Reign of the AHL to begin the 2015–16 season. Budaj immediately rebounded with the Reign with a succession of impressive performances to secure the starting goaltender duties. In leading the Reign to claim the Pacific Division title, Budaj led the league most statistical categories, to earn the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL's best goaltender. On 11 February 2016, he was recalled by the Los Angeles Kings on an emergency basis and made a victorious debut in a victory over the New York Rangers. On his return to Ontario, Budaj was signed to a one-year contract extension to remain with the Kings on March 2, 2016.
In the 2016–17 season, Budaj was again recalled by the Kings in October 2016, after starting goaltender Jonathan Quick was injured in the opening game of the year. In beating out current backup Jeff Zatkoff, Budaj assumed starting duties for the Kings to cover for the loss of Quick. In gaining a NHL starting role for the first time since 2011 with the Avalanche, Budaj responded in recording his best statistical year in the league. Having posted 27 wins and a career best 7 shutouts in 53 games, Budaj was returned to the backup role upon Quick's return on February 25, 2017.
Tampa Bay Lightning
On 26 February 2017, the Kings traded Budaj, alongside Erik Černák and a 2017 7th-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goaltender Ben Bishop and a 2017 5th-round pick. On 22 June 2017, the Lightning announced that they had signed Budaj to a two-year contract extension. However, this was short lived as on 13 June 2018, Budaj was traded back to Kings in exchange for forward Andy Andreoff.
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 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 2013–14 mask still has Ned Flanders' image as well as an image of Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi. Ned Flanders continues to appear on Budaj's 2014–15 mask, without Lionel Messi. Then, during 2017-18 season his Ned Flanders character turned to Thor.
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|
|2014–15||St. John's IceCaps||AHL||19||0||9||6||913||54||0||3.55||.888||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||1||1||0||0||62||4||0||3.87||.857||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016–17||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||53||27||20||3||3042||107||7||2.12||.917||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016–17||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||7||3||1||0||280||13||0||2.80||.898||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2017–18||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||8||3||3||1||431||27||0||3.77||.876||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours
|Second All-Star Team||2002|
|First All-Star Team||2016|||
|Baz Bastien Memorial Award||2016|||
|Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award||2016|
- "Game Recap – Canucks 4, Avalanche 3". NHL. Associated Press. November 3, 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- "Avalanche GM Giguere pays price for poor season". NHL. April 13, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Adrian Dater (June 30, 2009). "Budaj signs deal, likely No. 2 in net". Denver Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Terry Frei (October 27, 2009). "Swine flu fells Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj". The Denver Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Budaj shines in 1st game back from flu". Colorado Daily. November 4, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Nabokov, Couture lead Sharks to 5–0 win over Avs". Denver Post. April 22, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "Canadiens re-sign backup Peter Budaj for two-seasons". CBS Sports. April 10, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Chris Peters (October 5, 2014). "Jets acquire G Peter Budaj in three-player trade with Canadiens". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Greg Wyshynski (October 6, 2014). "NHL cut day: Peter Budaj, Colton Orr among the waived". Yahoo! News. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Robin Short (October 7, 2014). "Veteran NHL goalie assigned to IceCaps". Archived from the original on October 19, 2017.
- Jon Rosen (August 28, 2015). "Budaj to attend camp, Sharipzyanov inked to ELC". LAKingsinsider.com. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Peter Budaj Inked Then Waived by Kings". Today's Slapshot. October 9, 2015. Archived from the original on October 10, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- "Kings recall Gravel and Budaj". Los Angeles Kings. February 11, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Goaltender Peter Budaj signed to one-year extension". Los Angeles Kings. March 2, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Budaj Call: With Quick Hurt, LA Recalls Peter Budaj for Backup". SB Nation. October 14, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Bolts acquire Budaj, Cernak, and picks from Kings". Tampa Bay Lightning. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- "Lightning sign goaltender Peter Budaj to two-year contract". NHL.com. Tampa Bay Lightning. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- "Lightning acquire forward Andy Andreoff from Los Angeles Kings". NHL.com. 13 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- Adrian Dater (November 9, 2010). "Faith is just one goal for Avs' Budaj". Denver Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Adrian Dater (November 17, 2008). "Mailbag: Man behind the Mask". Denver Post. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Budaj getting swagger back into his game". Denver Post. March 20, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- David Hutchison (October 11, 2009). "Peter Budaj's 2009–2010 Colorado Avalanche Mask". Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Greg Boysen (September 30, 2014). "Peter Budaj Gets A New Mask". gohabsgo.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- "Peter Budaj gets Ned Flanders-Thor mashup mask". NHL. March 13, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Colorado Avalanche 2010 Media Guide" (PDF). Colorado Avalanche. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- Smith, Joe (5 March 2017). "New Lightning goalie Peter Budaj enjoys 'crazy' career renaissance". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- "First, Second Team All-Stars announced". American Hockey League. April 7, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Reign's Budaj named AHL's top goaltender". American Hockey League. April 11, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2018.