Friday, February 10, 2012

Peter Budaj: 3 Autographed Cards

I sent Peter Budaj 4 cards and a fan letter care of the Montréal Canadiens on December 21st, 2011 and got these three back signed in black sharpie on February 9th, 2012 - a very quick turnaround. No idea what happened to the other card, and don't remember what it was, either. But three is more than alright.
Budaj started his career with the Colorado Avalanche, backing David Aebischer, then José Théodore during the 2005-06 season. He eventually became the starter (backed by Andrew Raycroft) before taking a backseat to Craig Anderson. On the left, from Upper Deck's 2005-06 Rookie Class set (card #35), you can see the Avs' original away jersey, while on the right, from UD's 2008-09 Victory set (card #143) is the Reebok version of that jersey, pretty similar but absolutely ugly, where the black and white from the sleeves is replaced with piping on the chest, and an additional blue stripe appears for no reason under the arms.
On the first day of free agency last summer, when many were hoping the Habs would sign Théodore, Mathieu Garon or Jean-Sébastien Giguère to back up Carey Price,  the Montréal Canadiens instead turned to Budaj - for two seasons. So far this year, despite going 2-5-1 (with a 2.73 GAA and .906 save %), Budaj has played as well as Price, he just hasn't been very lucky. This card showing him in training camp (before he got his current Ned Flanders-clad helmet) is from Panini's 2011-12 Score set (card #260).

I like that Budaj also added his respective jersey numbers on the card - 31 for the Avalanche, and 30 for the Canadiens, a number previously worn by star enforcer Chris Nilan.

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