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Neuvirth Signs On As Backup In Philadelphia

Neuvirth Signs On As Backup In Philadelphia

Neuvirth

Michal Neuvirth signed with the Philadelphia Flyers for two years to back up Steve Mason.

The deal will pay Neuvirth $1.5 million in the first year, and $1.75 million in the second year.

With starting jobs in short supply, Neuvirth likely took the best offer available to him. Mason will definitely get the majority of the starts, but he has struggled with some nagging injuries in recent years. It’s still a good opportunity for Neuvirth, as he will provide a sense of security that hasn’t been there for the Flyers recently.

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Neuvirth is bringing his flashy glove to Philadelphia, and will look to challenge Steve Mason for as much ice time as possible.

Neuvirth, 27, now joins his fourth organization. He was previously a member of the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres, and New York Islanders, who acquired him at this year’s trading deadline for Chad Johnson and a third-round draft pick after free agent signing Chad Johnson failed to get the job done behind Jaroslav Halak.

Neuvirth, who probably played too well for the tanking Sabres with a .918 save percentage in 27 games, finished with a .881 save percentage in five appearances for the Islanders, who then signed Thomas Greiss as a free agent Wednesday to replace him behind Halak of the next two seasons.

Neuvirth, who has a .912 save percentage in 168 NHL games, has shown the ability to be more than a backup.

“One of the attractive things for the backup goalie is God forbid something happens to Mason but he can carry the load,” general manager Ron Hextall said. “I’m sure he can play more than a typical backup.”

InGoal Magazine Take:

“Neuvirth isn’t huge by any means at 6-foot-1 but he doesn’t play an overaggressive game either. He has a good skill set and pretty balanced approach overall but there is a sense it still could benefit from a little technical fine tuning under new Flyers goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh, who signed in Philadelphia after years as the Los Angeles Kings goaltending development director. In some ways he reminds us of Curtis McElhinney, who talked about his evolution in Columbus after recently re-signing as the Blue Jackets backup in the sense there could be another level of consistency that comes with a steadier technical and tactical base, giving the Flyers a top-level tandem with Mason coming off his best season.”

~ Kevin Woodley, InGoal Managing Editor

 

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.