The Los Angeles Kings are giving Peter Budaj a shot at earning a contract in training camp, per LA Kings Insider.
Budaj, the 32-year-old veteran that spent last year with Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate, will attend camp on a professional tryout, the club confirmed on Friday.
The news comes after L.A.’s backup from last season, Martin Jones, was traded away to Boston. The Kings later filled their No. 2 void by signing Jhonas Enroth in free agency.
Budaj will now try to secure a deal as the club’s No. 3 or 4 option and, if he’s successful, would presumably land with the club’s new AHL affiliate in Ontario (CA).
Though Budaj has fallen on hard times and was beaten out of the backup spot last year in Montreal by Dustin Tokarski, it’s easy to see why the Kings are giving him a shot.
L.A. is a little light on goalie prospects, having traded away the likes of Jones, Ben Scrivens and Jonathan Bernier in recent seasons, and could use a veteran stopgap. The Kings do have a pair of young fifth-round picks (Alec Dillon and Patrick Bartozek) in the system, though, along with J.F. Berube, who helped the Monarchs capture the Calder Cup last year.
Carey Price has the night off. So, enter Dustin Tokarski into the crease for the Montreal Canadiens.
The Habs’ back-up goalie made a spectacular save, moving to his left, to deny New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson of what looked to be a sure goal during the second period of Friday’s game.
Tokarski first stopped Mike Cammalleri, but gave up the rebound, which came right out to Severson. He didn’t waste any time letting go of his shot, but Tokarski had already moved into position to make the second save.
John Gibson will get another chance to show he should be the Anaheim Ducks’ playoff starter when he goes up against Colorado tonight at Honda Center.
Gibson’s last start was a good one; the 21-year-old stopped all but one of the Devils’ 27 shots last Sunday in a 2-1 victory, after which he was named the game’s first star.
Still, neither Gibson nor Andersen has made it an easy decision for coach Bruce Boudreau. Both young goalies have had excellent performances, and both have had their hiccups.
“I think they both want the starting role,” Boudreau said recently, per NHL.com “We had a tough game in New York and Columbus [last month] and when [Andersen] played two really good games, it was like [Gibson] said, ‘Oh, yeah? OK,’ and he came in and played great. I think they both would like to have it.
“If we go far they’re both going to play, and if we don’t go far, they’re both going to play, because if we’re losing, we’re going to make switches. That’s the way I think of it right now. We’re not married to thinking one is better than the other. When they’re on top of their game, they’re as good as there is.”
Reto Berra will start for Colorado.
Scott Darling likely for Chicago versus Anders Lindback for Buffalo.
Dustin Tokarski for Montreal versus Keith Kinkaid for New Jersey.
Brian Elliott for St. Louis versus Kari Lehtonen (likely) for Dallas.
Louis Domingue for Arizona versus Antti Niemi for San Jose.