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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.

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