According to the club’s official website, the Colorado Avalanche have announced that they have re-signed Peter Budaj and David Koci to one-year deals.
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I have always felt that Budaj would be a competent back-up for the Avs, and I’m not too surprised they re-signed him for another year. He seems to be one of those goaltenders who can play really well despite going through long breaks in playing time. He’s always prepared and he’s just an all-around nice guy. One thing I will say is that I certainly hope Joe Sacco can start trusting Budaj a little bit more this season. He only got 13% of the starts last season, and I really believe despite Craig Anderson’s phenomenal play in the post-season had really run out of gas after the Olympic break.
One thing I especially like about keeping Budaj around instead of trying to pick up a cheap veteran back-up for Andy is how serious Budaj takes his role as back-up. He’s like the Vice President on the bench, taking care of all the minor duties that are important, but often get over-looked. Budaj studies the starting goaltenders in the league for carefully, searching for weak points in their game. He then relays this information to the skaters come shootout time. There was a game last season that we won in the shootout, and I believe it was Chris Stewart who had the winning goal. In a post-game interview, he told the reporter that Budaj not only told him what the other goalie was going to do, he told him what move to use to beat him. That is a dedicated team player right there.
The other signing I’m not so sure about. The role of the enforcer is progressively being marginalized in the new NHL. David Koci does his job well enough, but his job frankly isn’t that important anymore. He was our most irrelevant player last season, and will likely continue be be so this upcoming season.