With the NHL lockout already under full effect, Washington Capitals players look for other places to play this season, at least for the first part of the year. Alex Ovechkin has already signed in the KHL joining his former team, Dynamo Moscow. Capitals goalie, Michal Neuvirth will do the same in joining his former team, returning to HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga league.
Neuvirth, 24, spoke to the Washington Post earlier this week. “For me, I just want to play. I think it’s going to be better to practice with a team, get some games. I would be happy if I could fly back in a couple weeks and get ready for the NHL season, but at this point I’m looking forward to playing in Czech. Hopefully we’ll all be back here soon.”
Playing overseas will give Washington’s young goalie a chance to play with literally no pressure on him, playing separately from the other Capitals young net-minder, Braden Holtby. Holtby was sent down to the Capitals AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears before the lockout took effect. Holtby was a big part in the Capitals postseason success last year, playing unbelievable under Dale Hunter, maintaining a goals against average under two in 14 postseason games. He received this much time in the playoffs due to injuries to Neuvirth and fomer Capitals goalie, Tomas Vokoun.
According to multiple reports, Capitals players have continued to hold informal workouts together, but this time have to pay their own way. On Monday a group of 13 Capitals players had to use a public locker room like anyone from the public and paid the same fee that like public skaters and players would.
It remains unclear what the remaining Capitals players will do with the lockout still in the first week, but they will most likely trek overseas due to the uncertainty of when and if the season starts.