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Michal Neuvirth (/ˈnɔɪvɪərt/; born 23 March 1988) is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently an unrestricted free agent. He previously played for the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, and Philadelphia Flyers. He was selected 34th overall by the Washington Capitals in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Michal Neuvirth
Michal Neuvirth - New York Islanders.jpg
Neuvirth with the New York Islanders in 2015
Born (1988-03-23) 23 March 1988 (age 31)
Ústí nad Labem, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team
Former teams
Free Agent
Washington Capitals
Buffalo Sabres
New York Islanders
Philadelphia Flyers
National team  Czech Republic
NHL Draft 34th overall, 2006
Washington Capitals
Playing career 2008–present

Playing careerEdit

JuniorEdit

After being drafted into the NHL by the Capitals, Neuvirth began a two-year major junior career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He began with the Plymouth Whalers in 2006–07 before being traded on 13 November 2007, to the Windsor Spitfires, along with defenceman Tom Kane and a fourth-round draft pick in 2009 in exchange for defenceman Michal Jordán, goaltender Matt Hackett, a 2008 second-round draft pick and a third-round pick in 2009. After spending less than half a season with the Spitfires, he was traded yet again on 8 January 2008, to the Oshawa Generals along with Ryan Baldwin for forward Justin Shugg, goaltender Jakub Kovář and second-round picks in 2008 and 2011.

ProfessionalEdit

Washington CapitalsEdit

 
Neuvirth with the Capitals in January 2012.

Neuvirth turned pro in 2008–09 with the South Carolina Stingrays, the Capitals' ECHL affiliate. During his short stint with the Stingrays, he was named to the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game for the American Conference.[1] He was called up to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) during the season and, before long, received his first NHL call-up to the Capitals when starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov was sidelined due to injury. He made his NHL debut on 14 February 2009, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Making 31 saves, including a breakaway glove save on Vincent Lecavalier, Neuvirth backstopped the Capitals to a 5–1 victory for his first NHL win.[2] He then played in his Capitals home debut on 26 February against the Atlanta Thrashers, recording another win with a 21-save effort. He finished the season appearing in five games total for the Capitals with a 2–1 record and 3.00 goals against average (GAA).

After being returned to the Bears, Neuvirth helped his team to the 2009 Calder Cup finals. He recorded a shutout in Game 3 for the Bears to take a 2–1 series lead against the Manitoba Moose.[3] Neuvirth then went on with the Hershey Bears to win the 2009 Calder Cup, earning MVP honors after his Game 6 win. Neuvirth went 16–6 in the playoffs and finished the post-season with a 1.92 GAA, topping Frédéric Cassivi's previous AHL playoff best of 2.10 GAA.[4]

After helping the Bears to the back-to-back Calder Cups in 2010, Neuvirth was named the starting goaltender of the Capitals' season opener on 8 October against Atlanta, in which he made 27 saves in a 4–2 loss. Neuvirth would go on to beat out Semyon Varlamov for the starting position for the entire season. Despite a solid season as Washington's starter and an adequate playoff performance, Washington would demote Neuvirth to backup goaltender status to make way for Tomáš Vokoun, trading away incumbent backup Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche in the process. Vokoun's run as Washington's starter only lasted one season, however, and he was injured before the playoffs began. Unfortunately for Neuvirth, he himself was also injured, allowing third goaltender Braden Holtby to start Game 1 of the first round series against the Boston Bruins. Even though Neuvirth managed to return to health in time for Game 3, Holtby went on to start for the duration of Washington's playoff run in 2012. In the off-season, Vokoun left to take the backup goaltender job with the Pittsburgh Penguins. New Capitals head coach Adam Oates then confirmed Holtby as the new starting goaltender of the Washington Capitals during training camp, but failed to rule out Neuvirth reclaiming the starter's role if he were to outplay Holtby.

Buffalo SabresEdit

On 5 March 2014, Neuvirth was traded by the Capitals, along with Rostislav Klesla, to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jaroslav Halák and a third round pick.[5] Neuvirth closed out the season with an (0-2-0) record. The next season, Neuvirth posted a record of (6-17-3).

New York IslandersEdit

Almost one year later, on 2 March 2015, Neuvirth was traded by the Sabres to the New York Islanders in exchange for Chad Johnson and a third-round draft pick.[6] Neuvirth recorded a (1-3-1) record with the Islanders.

Philadelphia FlyersEdit

On 1 July 2015, Neuvirth signed a two-year contract as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers, to serve as a backup to Steve Mason.[7]

On 1 April 2017, Neuvirth suddenly collapsed on the ice during a game against the New Jersey Devils while there was a stoppage in play at 7:37 of the first period. He was rushed to a nearby hospital after being taken off the ice on a stretcher. Backup goaltender Anthony Stolarz replaced Neuvirth for the rest of the game, which the Flyers won 3–0. The Flyers announced the next afternoon he had been released from the hospital and all tests were normal.[8][9]

After four seasons under contract with the Flyers, Neuvirth left as a free agent following an injury-plagued 2018–19 season. Unable to secure an NHL contract, Neuvirth agreed to an invitation to attend the Toronto Maple Leafs' training camp on a professional tryout (PTO) contract on 22 July 2019.[10]

On 24 September, Toronto released Neuvirth from his PTO contract.[11]

RecordsEdit

  • Calder Cup record; single-playoffs goals against average - 1.92 GAA (surpassed Frédéric Cassivi, 2.10 GAA)

Personal lifeEdit

Neuvirth married Monika Hybnerova in June 2014, but the couple divorced in July 2015.[12]

On 29 May 2018, Neuvirth married Czech musician Karolina Gudasová, the sister of former Philadelphia Flyers teammate Radko Gudas.[13][14] He and Karolina have two children together, daughter Emilka (b. 2017)[15] and son Marko (b. 2018).[16][17]

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT Min GA SO GAA SV% GP W L Min GA SO GAA SV%
2006–07 Plymouth Whalers OHL 41 26 8 4 2223 86 4 2.32 .932 18 14 3 1080 44 0 2.45 .932
2007–08 Plymouth Whalers OHL 10 5 4 1 600 26 0 2.60 .928
2007–08 Windsor Spitfires OHL 8 6 1 1 482 17 0 2.12 .918
2007–08 Oshawa Generals OHL 15 6 2 6 844 57 0 4.05 .898 9 7 2 507 21 0 2.48 .932
2008–09 South Carolina Stingrays ECHL 13 6 7 0 762 29 2 2.28 .918
2008–09 Hershey Bears AHL 17 9 5 2 1001 45 1 2.70 .913 22 16 6 1346 43 4 1.92 .932
2008–09 Washington Capitals NHL 5 2 1 0 220 11 0 3.00 .892
2009–10 Hershey Bears AHL 22 15 6 0 1231 46 1 2.24 .919 18 14 4 1133 39 1 2.07 .920
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 17 9 4 0 872 40 0 2.75 .914
2010–11 Washington Capitals NHL 48 27 12 4 2689 110 4 2.45 .914 9 4 5 590 23 1 2.34 .912
2011–12 Washington Capitals NHL 38 13 13 5 2020 95 3 2.82 .902
2012–13 Sparta Prague CZE 24 11 13 0 1342 55 1 2.46 .926
2012–13 Washington Capitals NHL 13 4 5 2 723 33 0 2.74 .910
2013–14 Washington Capitals NHL 13 4 6 2 767 36 0 2.82 .914
2013–14 Hershey Bears AHL 1 1 0 0 60 4 0 4.02 .892
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 2 0 2 0 117 5 0 2.56 .949
2014–15 Buffalo Sabres NHL 27 6 17 3 1544 77 0 2.99 .918
2014–15 New York Islanders NHL 5 1 3 1 306 15 0 2.94 .881 1 0 0 11 0 0 0.00 1.000
2015–16 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 32 18 8 4 1826 69 3 2.27 .924 3 2 1 178 2 1 0.67 .981
2016–17 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 28 11 11 1 1364 64 0 2.82 .891
2017–18 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 22 8 7 3 1039 45 1 2.60 .915 3 1 1 150 11 0 4.40 .847
2018–19 Lehigh Valley Phantoms AHL 1 1 0 0 60 3 0 3.00 .912
2018–19 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 7 1 4 1 366 26 0 4.27 .859
NHL totals 257 105 93 26 13,852 626 11 2.71 .910 16 7 7 930 36 2 2.32 .919

Awards and honoursEdit

Award Year
OHL
Dinty Moore Trophy (2.32) 2007
Dave Pinkney Trophy 2007
Second All-Rookie Team 2007
Second All-Star Team 2007
ECHL
All-Star Game 2009
AHL
Jack A. Butterfield Trophy 2009
Calder Cup (Hershey Bears) 2009, 2010
NHL
Rookie of the Month (October) 2010 [18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Meluzio, Derek (2 January 2009). "Neuvirth named ECHL All-Star". The Patriot-News. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  2. ^ The Canadian Press (14 February 2009). "Green sets NHL record in Capitals' win over Lightning". TSN. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Bears blank Moose in Calder final". Toronto Star. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Michal Neuvirth". The Patriot-News. Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Sabres trade Halak to Capitals". TSN. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  6. ^ NHL.com (2 March 2015). "Islanders acquire goalie Neuvirth, forward Kennedy". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Flyers ink goaltender Michal Neuvirth to multi-year deal". Philadelphia Flyers. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  8. ^ Gulitti, Tom (2 April 2017). "Michal Neuvirth of Flyers collapses, leaves game". National Hockey League. Philadelphia. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  9. ^ @NHLFlyers (2 April 2017). "Neuvirth has been released from Pennsylvania Hospital & is home resting. All diagnostic testing is normal. He will be reevaluated tomorrow" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ "Sparta má smůlu, Neuvirth se popere o šanci v NHL. Vyzkouší ho Toronto" [Neuvirth will fight for a chance in the NHL. Tested by Toronto]. Blesk (in Czech). Prague. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  11. ^ The Canadian Press (24 September 2019). "Maple Leafs release Neuvirth from PTO". TSN. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  12. ^ Oland, Ian (23 February 2017). "Aaaawkward: Radko Gudas's sister is pregnant, Michal Neuvirth is the daddy". Russian Machine Never Breaks. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  13. ^ Boruk, John (18 October 2017). "How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad". NBC Sports. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Ústecký rodák Michal Neuvirth se podruhé oženil" [Michal Neuvirth, a native of Ústí nad Labem, married for the second time]. Deník (in Czech). 30 May 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  15. ^ Ellis, Josh (13 September 2017). "Michal Neuvirth welcomes new baby, thus making Uncle Radko". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  16. ^ Meltzer, Bill (17 December 2018). "MELTZER: Takeaways from Today". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  17. ^ Kimelman, Adam (17 December 2018). "Flyers recall top prospect Hart, would be their sixth goalie to start". National Hockey League. Retrieved 17 December 2018. Neuvirth had been away from the team since Thursday to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's second child. Injuries have limited him to two games this season.
  18. ^ NHL.com (21 February 2011). "Capitals' Neuvirth named October Rookie of the Month". National Hockey League. Retrieved 4 February 2013.

External linksEdit