Montreal Canadiens sign backup goalie Jaroslav Halak to two-year deal

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a US$1.55-million, two-year contract.

The backup to Carey Price will earn $750,000 next season and $800,000 in 2009-10.

“Jaroslav has proven to be a quality NHL goaltender,” Canadiens GM Bob Gainey said in a statement. “He played very well for us when called upon over the past two seasons. He is young competitor with great skills and an excellent work ethic.”

Halak, 23, played six games with the Canadiens last season, going 2-1-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. He played in 28 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, posting a 15-10-2 record with a 2.10 GAA and the league’s second-best save percentage at .929.

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The Slovak native was selected in the ninth round by the Canadiens, 271st overall in the 2003 NHL entry draft. He is 12-7-1 in 22 NHL career games with a 2.71 GAA and .913 save percentage.