Bye, bye, Ray Emery. Hello, Michal Neuvirth!
The Philadelphia Flyers have themselves a new backup goaltender in the 27-year-old Neuvirth. As reported first by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN:
Flyers have signed goalie Michal Neuvirth to two-year deal, $1.5 M in Year 1 and $1.75 million in Year 2
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2015
In Philadelphia, Neuvirth is in a purely backup role and the new contract reflects just that. Steve Mason is the team’s No. 1 netminder. Last season, Ray Emery and Mason shared roles as the team dealt with injuries and inconsistency from the start. The signing of Neuvirth allows Emery to walk into the sunset of unrestricted free agency.
Last season was not an easy one for Neuvirth.
He started the year as a part of the tanking abyss in Buffalo where he amassed a 6-17-3 record in 27 games played. Thankfully he was given some relief at the deadline in a trade to the Islanders. Yet in 5 games, he was 1-3-1. (Have to wonder if the situation in Buffalo played into his psyche.) He missed a total of 18 games with a mix of back and knee injuries.
Perhaps his most memorable moment from last season was the $2,000 fine he received from the NHL for diving/embellishment. He was warned by Hockey Ops after a game against Toronto, and was subsequently fined after playing Nashville for his acting.
Prior to the stints with the Islanders and Sabres, Neuvirth spent the better part of six seasons with the Washington Capitals, the team that drafted him, before being dealt to Buffalo. In his NHL career, he’s 66-63-17 in 168 games played with a .912 save-percentage and 2.73 goals against.