“I don’t know what’s the plan. They haven’t really talked to me. I’ve just gone day by day and I work hard in practice. Like I said, I want to be a No. 1 goalie in this league and if not here maybe somewhere else.”
These were the words of Washington Capitals backup goalie Michal Neuvirth when he spoke to CSN Washington last week about his current situation with the team. The Capitals already have a starting goalie in Braden Holtby, who’s played in 27 of the team’s 39 games so far this season. However, recently Washington saw very impressive play from their rookie netminder Philipp Grubauer. The 22-year-old has been stellar in net, with a 5-1-2 record and a .937 save percentage.
While this is all good news for the Capitals, it isn’t exactly something Neuvirth is excited about. At age 25, he’s still very young, and he also still wants to be a starter in the NHL. It just doesn’t appear he’ll get that chance with the Caps.
Neuvirth’s agent, Patrik Stefan, is hoping he can help his client achieve his goal, and that means getting out of Washington. Pierre LeBrun of TSN is reporting Stefan wants the Capitals to trade Neuvirth so he can get a fresh start elsewhere.
It certainly makes sense for both parties to deal Neuvirth. Washington seems all set in net with Holtby and Grubauer, and they certainly don’t want to waste a roster spot on a third goalie. Meanwhile, Neuvirth’s time on ice is going to drastically decrease now that Grubauer is playing so well.
With a $2.5 million cap hit per year through 2015, Neuvirth shouldn’t be very difficult to trade. It’s all about finding a team in need of goaltending, which should be easier to do once the trade deadline nears and a few teams are needing a key addition for one last playoff push.