After signing a two-year deal with the Habs on July 1, the Slovak netminder will have plenty of time to get to know the Habs All-Star goalie over the next two seasons.
"Playing in Montreal is a childhood dream for me. It's a great city with amazing fans," revealed Budaj, a six-year NHL veteran. "This is a young team that is competitive and knocking on the door year after year. I'm certain that in a few years this team will get to the level it's trying to reach."
Drafted 63rd overall by Colorado at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Budaj racked up 242 games of experience with the Avalanche since breaking into the NHL in 2005-06.
"I will always have a special connection to Colorado, but this is an excellent opportunity and good challenge for me. In Montreal, hockey is always No. 1. There is no other city that gets more fired up about hockey than Montreal," explained Budaj, who picked up his education in Habs 101 from the likes of teammates Patrice Brisebois, Jose Theodore, Ian Laperierre and fellow countryman Jaroslav Halak. "I've only played here before in junior so I'm really looking forward to playing at the Bell Centre in front of this crowd."
His new fans will however have to wait a little while longer to see 28-year-old walking the streets of Montreal.
"I expect to come to Montreal at the end of the month to start settling in. For now I intend to continue my offseason training in Colorado. I really enjoy training at the high altitude during the summer. It helps my overall conditioning," said Budaj who is planning be in Montreal when he starts his on-ice training.Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Manny Almela. SEE ALSOTwo-year contract for goalie Peter Budaj Here to stay Habs ink Yannick Weber to a 2-year deal Contractual status of Habs players