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With Grubauer’s rise, Neuvirth left wondering about future

Dec 21, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT

michalneuvirthgetty Getty Images

Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth entered the 2013-14 season hoping to challenge Braden Holtby for the starting job in Washington. Instead the rise of 22-year-old netminder Philipp Grubauer has made even Neuvirth’s position as the team’s backup seem uncertain.

“I don’t know what’s the plan,” Neuvirth told CSN Washington. “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.”

Neuvirth’s lack of playing time seems to have also cost him a spot on the Czech Republic’s Olympic team. Although he’s one of just three Czech-born goalies that has played in at least five NHL games this season, the squad as told him that they’re going to explore their options from the KHL.

Neuvirth is in the first season of a two-year, $5 million contract. The 25-year-old is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time once that deal expires.

  1. alexcolesays - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    They’re always looking for a goalie on the island!

  2. lowenni - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I feel kinda bad for him. First Vokoun replaced him as the started, then Holtby, now Grubi’s even taking the backup job from him. It’s probably best for the caps to trade him while he still has some value as a potential starter (which I believe he could easily become) and get something nice in return. At least he hasn’t publicly been an a$$ and demanded a trade like Erat, he’s making the best of his situation and still working hard. I was sad to hear that he won’t be invited to the Czech Olympic roster anymore after previously being pencilled in as the backup, due to his lack of playing time. That’s got to really suck.

  3. multiplemiggs - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    future Islander

  4. stakex - Dec 21, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    The Capitals cycle of next great goaltending hope continues I see? Instead of being so quick to move on to someone who comes in an plays a couple good games, the Caps should really pick two guys and settle on them for a while. Its not healthy to have a new starter every year like this.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    I see this kid on Long Island

  6. t9tookey - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Gotta think they’re giving Grubi the work now to see if he’s ready to be an NHL goalie. If he is, trade away Neuvy for some help. Maybe a package deal with Erat (cause lets face it, the only way to get rid of Erat is to package him with someone else). Isles need goaltending but it would have to be a pretty good package coming back to trade Neuvy to a team that could potentially become a rival for a playoff spot if Neuvy gives them solid play. The other two teams that could potentially in the market for a young goalie is Calgary, but what do they really have to trade. More interesting might be Edmonton! Could GMGM get one of those young forwards to help out as part of a package w/Neuvy.

  7. cspsrbums - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Trade Holtby he is killing this team Package him with Troy Brower and Mike Green. Holtby Can’t stop a Beach ball he gives up 3 or more goals every game. In his defense some The caps have no defense. Erskins probably should retire also

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