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Neuvirth becomes first Caps player to ink in Europe

Sep 18, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

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While Alex Ovechkin has verbally committed to playing in Russia, Washington teammate Michal Neuvirth is the first Capital to sign with a European team.

The 24-year-old goalie has signed a one-year deal with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley. The move is a reunion of sorts for Neuvirth, who played for Praha’s U-18 and U-20 teams before joining OHL Plymouth in 2006-07.

It’s not surprising Neuvirth signed overseas so quickly, as his career is at something of a crossroads — he lost the Caps’ starting gig to Braden Holtby and is in the final year of his two-year, $2.3 million deal.

Getting back on the ice and playing as much as possible is key, especially since he only appeared in 38 games a year ago, down from his career-high 48 in 2010-11.

The move to Praha also means avoiding any further discussion of his “Holtby’s the weakest competition I’ve ever had” comments from late August. Which is probably a good thing.

 

Related: Ovechkin prepared to “spent the entire season in the KHL.”

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