Michael Neuvirth requests trade
The agent for Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth has confirmed he would like to see his client traded.
In a phone conversation on Monday, Patrik Stefan, who has represented Neuvirth since the Capitals drafted him in the second round of the 2006 NHL draft, said it’s time for the Capitals to let Neuvirth play somewhere else.
“All Michal wants to do is play,” Stefan told CSNWashington.com. “He’s 25 years old and he knows he can play. He’s been working hard at practice, but from my side, he’s my client and I ask Washington that if he can’t play there then give him a chance somewhere else. It’s time to move on. He’s been in the stands for a week. Hopefully, something is going to happen sooner or later.”
Neuvirth has appeared in just seven of the Capitals’ 40 games this season and has a 2-3-1 record with a 2.31 GAA and a .912 save percentage. He was scheduled to start on Nov. 29 at home against the Montreal Canadiens, but stepped on a puck during warmups and injured his ankle.
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The Caps recalled 22-year-old rookie goalie Philipp Grubauer to take Neuvirth’s place and Monday night’s start against the Ottawa Senators marked Grubauer’s 11th appearance in 14 games since being recalled.
“I hope they’re trying to trade him,” Stefan said. “We all know now all three goalies can play. I don’t think it’s good for the team and it’s not good for Michal, either. My goal is for him to get moved and to start somewhere else.”
Last season Stefan negotiated a two-year, $5 million contract for Neuvirth and at that time he said he and the Capitals believed Neuvirth was capable of being a No. 1 goalie in Washington.
“That’s why he got the pay,” Stefan said. “Coming into the season my understanding was that it would come down to [Braden] Holtby and Michal for the No. 1 spot.”
Neuvirth played in just two of the Caps’ first 10 games and lost back-to-back games in Calgary and Vancouver on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28. He picked up a win and an overtime loss in early November but has played in just one of the Caps’ last 23 games.
As a result, Neuvirth said he is not receiving consideration to be on the Czech Olympic team, which was one of his goals heading into the season. Olympic rosters must be submitted by Jan. 7.
“If Michal had more starts in Washington don’t you think he would be in good position to play for the Czech national team?” Stefan wondered. “That was one of his motivations at training camp, to be in good shape and prove he is good enough to play on the Olympic team. It hasn’t been announced yet but this may cost him that chance.”
Stefan said he is simply doing his job as an agent by making it known Neuvirth would like an opportunity to play somewhere other than Washington.
“My hope is that Michal gets moved,” he said. “I mean, I don’t see anything changing. He’s a third guy, he’s in the stands. Michal is not the type of player who is going to say, ‘I want to be gone.’
“Michal is a professional hockey player who wants to be playing. He’s 25 years old. He wants to play. My job is to make sure it happens. If it’s in Washington, great. But you know what? My opinion is, and what I have seen from the start of the season, is he won’t have a shot there. So give him a shot somewhere else.”