Montreal buys out Audette's contract

Updated: January 2, 2004, 7:56 PM ET
Associated Press

MONTREAL -- Donald Audette became an unrestricted free agent Friday when the Montreal Canadiens bought out the remainder of the forward's contract.

Audette, 34, was signed through next season and was slated to earn $3 million in the 2004-05 campaign. Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey didn't release terms of the buyout.

The Quebec native had three goals and five assists in 23 games and was often a healthy scratch from the Montreal lineup this season. In 90 regular-season games with the Canadiens, Audette had 15 goals and 22 assists. He was placed on waivers Monday but no NHL team put in a claim for him.

Audette, who also played for Buffalo, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas, scored a career-high 34 goals in the 2000-01 season while with . His most productive season was 2000-2001 when he scored 34 goals in 76 games for Atlanta and Buffalo.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press