While Alex Ovechkin has verbally committed to playing in Russia, Washington teammate Michal Neuvirth is the first Capital to sign with a European team.
The 24-year-old goalie has signed a one-year deal with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley. The move is a reunion of sorts for Neuvirth, who played for Praha’s U-18 and U-20 teams before joining OHL Plymouth in 2006-07.
It’s not surprising Neuvirth signed overseas so quickly, as his career is at something of a crossroads — he lost the Caps’ starting gig to Braden Holtby and is in the final year of his two-year, $2.3 million deal.
Getting back on the ice and playing as much as possible is key, especially since he only appeared in 38 games a year ago, down from his career-high 48 in 2010-11.
The move to Praha also means avoiding any further discussion of his “Holtby’s the weakest competition I’ve ever had” comments from late August. Which is probably a good thing.
Related: Ovechkin prepared to “spent the entire season in the KHL.”
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?