Today, the Washington Capitals re-signed young goalie Michal Neuvirth to a two-year contract with an annual cap hit of 1.15 million. Interestingly enough, his contract extends further than that of incumbent starter Semyon Varlamov who will be a restricted free agent next season.
With the Capitals not retaining Jose Theodore they have made a commitment to starting their youth over a proven player. Varlamov’s inconsistency during both the regular season and playoffs has been documented to the point that the average fan may forget he is still only 22-years-old. However, he and Neuvirth should help the Capitals come near another President’s Trophy, regardless of the quality of the defense.
Both netminders managed to injure themselves last season leading to another name, Braden Holtby, entering the equation. In his first season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, Holtby finished with a tidy 2.32 GAA and .917 SV% in just 37 games. He should continue to improve his game in the A but could see a mid-season callup should either Varlamov or Neuvirth falter or get injured. Both netminders missed time last season with various injuries, so that could be on GM George McPhee’s mind should suitors be looking to acquire one of the up-and-coming ‘tenders.
Stay tuned to Daily Faceoff as we continue to monitor the goaltending situations as they evolve around the League.