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Canadiens sign Cole, Budaj

Friday, 07.01.2011 / 4:51 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

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Canadiens sign Cole, Budaj
The Montreal Canadiens have signed free agent wing Erik Cole and goalie Peter Budaj to multi-year contracts.

According to TSN, Cole has inked a four-year, $18 million contract and Budaj was given a two-year, $2.3 million deal.

The 28-year-old Budaj, who now becomes the backup to Carey Price in Montreal, has played all six of his NHL seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. He has a career record of 101-91-27 with a 2.83 goals-against average. He made 45 appearances in 2010-11 for Colorado, producing a 15-21-4 mark with a 3.20 GAA and .895 save percentage.

The Canadiens will benefit from Cole's size and power down low. He had 26 goals and 52 points in 82 games with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010-11. He was one of the top-rated forwards on the board heading into free agency.

In 620 career games spanning nine seasons, Cole has produced 184 goals and 390 points. He spent his entire career with Carolina with the exception of the 2008-09 campaign, when he notched 16 goals and 27 points in 63 games with the Oilers before he was dealt back to the Hurricanes at the trade deadline.
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There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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