With Semyon Varlamov on IR, Michal Neuvirth gets the call to start for Washington

GYI0061847291-neuvirth-gregfiume-getty.jpgThe Washington Capitals plan to open the season with two young netminders in Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth is one that’s getting plenty of attention around the league. Many feel that the Caps opting to go with young guys from within the organization on a team that’s seemingly very close to winning a Stanley Cup is a risky proposition. Others applaud the Caps for going with home grown talent.

Injuries can throw a wrench in the works and with Semyon Varlamov starting the season on injured reserve with a groin issue, it’s up to two-time Calder Cup winner Neuvirth to hold down the fort in the meantime and he could be seeing a lot of work early as Caps Insider’s Katie Carrera shares.

Since the start of training camp Boudreau has said he hopes to play both Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth regularly and give each ample time to prove themselves this season. But because of Varlamov’s injury Neuvirth will be the go-to netminder, for opening weekend at least.

Neuvirth will start against Atlanta Friday and Boudreau wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Neuvirth playing in each of these first three games in four days.

“I’ve done it a lot in my career,” Neuvirth said about the chance he might play in several games in a short period of time. “But I’m just focusing on tomorrow night. I want to be sharp tomorrow and that’s what I’m thinking right now is getting ready for Friday. I’m pretty excited. I can’t wait for the game and I’m going to get a little nervous before the game, but I think I can handle the pressure.”

It’s not an ideal situation for the Capitals and if things get especially scary, Braden Holtby is waiting in the wings to be an even younger home grown goalie for the potential Stanley Cup team. For Neuvirth, however, he was able to do a lot of heavy lifting for the Hershey Bears in the AHL leading the team to the Calder Cup the last two seasons.

Coming up to the Capitals was an eventuality for Neuvirth, but being the opening night starter has to be something even he didn’t envision. After all, with the amount of pressure on the Caps to go far in the playoffs, being the starting goalie for the team is no easy task even on opening night.

(Photo: Greg Fiume – Getty Images)

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    Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
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    In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

    The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

    At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

    As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

    The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

    All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.

    Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

    Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

    The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

    The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

    The NHLPA released a similar statement.

    It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

    We’re starting to find out some details now:

    How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

    Stay tuned.