When it was announced that Michal Neuvirth was getting the start on opening night over Tomas Vokoun, it stunned just about everyone. You can include Vokoun in that group of people surprised by it and that can’t exactly bode well for him and he voiced his confusion about it.
Vokoun says not starting the first game is something he’s not comfortable with and he certainly didn’t expect it to happen given that he was brought in to be the Caps’ starting goalie.
Neuvirth’s strong preseason record and strong play in goal helped Bruce Boudreau decide to give him the start tonight, but for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations, you’d think giving the guy you brought in to win you the Cup would at least get the nod at home for the first game of the season.
Not so much, however. For Vokoun, it’s his first big test of mental toughness and while it’s hard enough for a goalie to deal with opponents, having to deal with a situation on your own team makes for a different brand of struggle. Vokoun has a history of rough starts to the season, he’ll need to avoid one this year to keep from giving Neuvirth the chance to start even more games.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.