The Washington Capitals re-signed backup net minder Michal Neuvirth to a two year contract Saturday morning, as the team officially set their NHL goalies for the 2013-2014 season and beyond. The 25 year old goalie is third in Capitals history with 55 career wins.
The deal is worth fivemillion over two seasons, giving Neuvirth a 2.5 million dollar cap hit next year. He’s struggled this season in Washington however due to a lack of playing time, registering four wins in 13 games with a 2.74 goals against average and .910 save percentage. In 131 career games, Neuvirth holds a 2.66 goals against average and .910 save percentage.
He was drafted by the Capitals with the 34th overall pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft. Neuvirth posted outstanding rookie year numbers, sporting 27 wins, a 2.45 goals against average and .914 save percentage.
Neuvirth will make $1.3 million more than Holtby over the next two years even though he is the backup, but Holtby’s entry level contract ends this season.
UFA’s Likely To Walk
With Neuvirth signed, the Capitals have $58.6 million in salary committed to 2013-2014 with impending free agents Matt Hendricks and Mike Ribeiro unlikely to be retained. Forward Wojtek Wolski will also hit free agency this summer, in what’s been a disappointing season for the injury prone forward who hasn’t produced. Ever since General Manager George McPhee traded for winger Martin Erat, a contract extension for Ribeiro was all but ruled out.
Alzner and Johansson Highlight RFA’s
With just under six million dollars of salary available for the 2013-2014 season, restricted free agent defenseman Karl Alzner and first line forward Marcus Johansson become a priority heading into the summer.
Johansson is sixth in forward scoring for Washington with six goals and 16 assists on the season through 33 games. He’s been a big part of the Capitals’ first line composed of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, leading the team to another Southeast Division title. He holds a cap hit of $900,000 in the final year of his entry level contract, and could earn near two million dollars in free agency. His qualifying offer from the Capitals will be $850,500 according to capgeek.com.
Alzner is easily Washington’s best shutdown defenseman, bringing his skills in front of the net and during the penalty kill. He has five points on the season and is third on Washington’s blue line in ice time (20:57). If he isn’t signed come the beginning of free agency, a team in need of defense could hand him an offer sheet because the Capitals don’t have much cap space to work with.
He could earn a multi-year deal worth close to three million per season.