He’s baaaaaacccckkkkk…. The Los Angeles Kings have announced a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Kings have acquired Peter Budaj, the 11-year veteran goaltender, in a trade for forward Andy Andreoff. Budaj had previously been with the Kings organization from 2015 to 2017. During his brief stay with the Lightning, Budaj played in only eight games posting a 3-3-1 record, an 87.6 save percentage, and allowed a 3.77 goals against average.
Andreoff had been with the Kings organization since 2011. He accumulated 24 points in his 159 games with the team during the last four years.
TRADE: Peter Budaj returns to LA Kings organization, Andy Andreoff heads to Tampa Bay Lightning. https://t.co/BaxQH4unuJ
— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 13, 2018
Peter Budaj Back with the Kings
Budaj, a former second round draft pick (2001) of the Colorado Avalanche, was a reclamation project when the Kings allowed him to try out in 2015. Budaj revitalized his career in the American Hockey League (AHL), leading the Kings minor league affiliate, the Ontario Reign, to a Pacific Division title.
In the 2015-16 season, Budaj was named the Baz Bastien Memorial Award recipient as the AHL’s best goaltender. He even filled in on an emergency basis in a start for the parent club that season, winning his debut game with the Kings.
The Rise of Budaj
The next season, Budaj won the back up role to starter Jonathan Quick with the Kings. When Quick went down with a groin injury after the first game of the season, Budaj was thrust into the starting role.
Budaj responded with the best statistical season of his NHL career, posting 27 wins and a career best 7 shutouts in 53 games. Budaj was returned to the backup role upon Quick’s return on February 25, 2017.
In the push for a playoff spot, then general manager Dean Lombardi, traded Budaj to the Lightning for Ben Bishop.
Budaj now returns as probably the back up for the Reign back in the AHL. Jack Campbell is expected to back up Jonathan Quick with the Kings, meanwhile Cal Petersen is expected to be the starter in Ontario. The trade solidifies the Kings goaltender depth for this upcoming season.
As for Andreoff, he was likely dealt to the Lightning to try and give him a chance to remain in the NHL. He wasn’t expected to make the final roster for the Kings beyond the completion of training camp this fall.
Expect more to come from the Kings front office this summer, as they try to get the organization back into the NHL Playoffs.