Michal Neuvirth (//; 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.
Neuvirth with the New York Islanders in 2015
23 March 1988|
Ústí nad Labem, Czechoslovakia
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)|
New York Islanders
|National team||Czech Republic|
34th overall, 2006|
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. Neuvirth recorded a (1-3-1) record with the Islanders.
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.
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.
On 24 September, Toronto released Neuvirth from his PTO contract.
- Calder Cup record; single-playoffs goals against average - 1.92 GAA (surpassed Frédéric Cassivi, 2.10 GAA)
Neuvirth married Monika Hybnerova in June 2014, but the couple divorced in July 2015.
On 29 May 2018, Neuvirth married Czech musician Karolina Gudasová, the sister of former Philadelphia Flyers teammate Radko Gudas. He and Karolina have two children together, daughter Emilka (b. 2017) and son Marko (b. 2018).
|2008–09||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||13||6||7||0||762||29||2||2.28||.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|
|2018–19||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||AHL||1||1||0||0||60||3||0||3.00||.912||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honoursEdit
|Dinty Moore Trophy (2.32)||2007|
|Dave Pinkney Trophy||2007|
|Second All-Rookie Team||2007|
|Second All-Star Team||2007|
|Jack A. Butterfield Trophy||2009|
|Calder Cup (Hershey Bears)||2009, 2010|
|Rookie of the Month (October)||2010|||
- Meluzio, Derek (2 January 2009). "Neuvirth named ECHL All-Star". The Patriot-News. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- 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.
- "Bears blank Moose in Calder final". Toronto Star. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- "Michal Neuvirth". The Patriot-News. Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- "Sabres trade Halak to Capitals". TSN. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- NHL.com (2 March 2015). "Islanders acquire goalie Neuvirth, forward Kennedy". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Flyers ink goaltender Michal Neuvirth to multi-year deal". Philadelphia Flyers. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- Gulitti, Tom (2 April 2017). "Michal Neuvirth of Flyers collapses, leaves game". National Hockey League. Philadelphia. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- @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.
- "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.
- The Canadian Press (24 September 2019). "Maple Leafs release Neuvirth from PTO". TSN. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- 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.
- Boruk, John (18 October 2017). "How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad". NBC Sports. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- "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.
- Ellis, Josh (13 September 2017). "Michal Neuvirth welcomes new baby, thus making Uncle Radko". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Meltzer, Bill (17 December 2018). "MELTZER: Takeaways from Today". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- 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.
- NHL.com (21 February 2011). "Capitals' Neuvirth named October Rookie of the Month". National Hockey League. Retrieved 4 February 2013.