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Montreal buys out Audette's contract

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.