Peter Budaj Receives “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award
Ontario Reign goaltender Peter Budaj has been named as the winner of the 2015-16 Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the American Hockey League’s top goaltender for the season.
Budaj became just the second goaltender in the past 50 years to win 40 games in a single AHL season, going 41-14-4 heading in to the final week of the regular season.
He also set a career high for minutes played in a season (3,514), starting 59 of the clubs first 66 games this season as Ontario claimed the Pacific Division title.
The 33-year-old led the league in wins, goals-against average (1.74), save percentage (.932) and shutouts (9) while ranking second in shots faced (1,501) and total saves (1,399).
Quite the turn around from last season, when Budaj went winless in 19 appearances (0-9-6) for the St. John’s IceCaps!
The veteran puck stopper also made a return to NHL action this season, back stopping Los Angeles to victory against the New York Rangers on February 12th.
Budaj signed a one-year contract extension with the Kings organisation in March.
Selected during the second-round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by Colorado, Budaj holds an NHL career record of 125-107-36 with a .903 save percentage and 2.76 goals-against average. In 211 career AHL appearances to date, he is 97-78-20 with a 2.48 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and 19 shutouts.
The Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award was first presented in 1984, in honor of former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons with the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-ending eye injury. Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967 Calder Cup championship.