Canadiens go goaltender shopping

The National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens signed a pair of goaltenders yesterday (July 5). Nathan Lawson signed a one-year, two-way American Hockey League (AHL) / National Hockey League (NHL) contract for the 2011-12 season with the Habs while Peter Delmas inked a three-year, two-way AHL/NHL contract deal.

Both netminders could see action with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal’s AHL affiliate.

Lawson, 27, made his NHL debut with the New York Islanders Saturday, Dec. 18, last year, falling 4-3 in a shootout against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Calgary native appeared in 10 games with New York in 2010-11, posting a 1-4-2 record, a 4.06 goals against average and an .893 save percentage. The 6-2, 203-pound goaltender also played for the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, Connecticut last season. In 16 games with the Sound Tigers, Lawson went 6-5-4 with a 2.90 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

From 2008-11, Lawson played in 83 games with the Sound Tigers, recording a 41-30-9 record with a 2.46 GAA and a .922 save percentage. After finishing the 2008-09 season ranked second in the league in save percentage (.927) and third in goals against average (2.16), Lawson was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team. The left-handed-catching netminder also finished with the second-highest save percentage in the AHL during the 2009-2010 season.

Lawson joined the New York Islanders organization as a free agent on March 2, 2008 after spending the 2007-08 season, his first as a professional, with the ECHL’s Phoenix Roadrunners and Utah Grizzlies.

Delmas, 21, played in two games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2010-11, posting a 1-0-1 record, a 1.92 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. The Bedford, Nova Scotia native spent most of last season with the Hamilton Bulldogs’ and Montreal Canadiens’ ECHL affiliate in Wheeling, West Virginia. In 24 games with the Nailers, the 6’2’’, 190-pound goaltender recorded 15 wins, 6 losses and 2 overtime losses, a 2.03 goals against average and a .928 save percentage.

In the ECHL’s 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs, Delmas posted an 8-5-1 record, a 3.13 goals against average and a .903 save percentage playing in 15 of Wheeling’s 17 post-season games before the Wheelers were eliminated in six games by the Kalamazoo Wings in the Eastern Conference Finals. Delmas finished the playoffs ranked second in the league in playoff games (15) and saves (391), and third in wins (8).

The left-handed-catching netminder played in 149 career regular season games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) between 2006 and 2010 with Lewiston, Quebec and Halifax.

Delmas was invited on a try-out basis at the Montreal Canadiens’ rookie and main training camps in 2010-11.

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