With the Philadelphia Flyers recently having a ten game winning streak, it’s difficult to imagine there being any frustrations. As Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post writes though, that’s exactly the case when it comes to goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
Neuvirth entered this season poised to battle with Steve Mason for the number one job between the pipes after both goalies had an up-and-down season in 2015-16. However, he got off to a slow start this season, posting a 3.59 GAA and a .859 SV%, both significantly worse than the league average. Then in mid-November, he suffered a knee injury and hasn’t played since, allowing Mason to seize the starting role and run with it while Anthony Stolarz has also played well in limited action.
While that’s great for Mason and the Flyers, this certainly won’t help Neuvirth’s cause when it comes to getting a new contract this summer as an unrestricted free agent. Neuvirth is making $1.75MM this season, the second of a two year contract that carries a $1.625MM cap hit. A strong year where he took over as the starter while staying healthy could have allowed him to at least double his current salary but as things stand, that’s not likely to be the case unless his second half of the season goes a whole lot better than his first half has.
On the plus side, Neuvirth has been skating recently and he noted that there haven’t been any issues with his recovery so far:
“No setbacks, but it’s a difficult injury, especially for goalies. Can’t rush it back. Stolie and Mase are doing a good job, so there’s no pressure for me to rush it.”
Assuming there are no setbacks, Neuvirth is expected to return to the lineup sometime in January.
More from Philadelphia:
- The ten game win streak has raised the bar when it comes to expectations for the rest of the season, GM Ron Hextall told CSN Philly’s Jordan Hall. Hextall acknowledged that he didn’t expect that the Flyers could pull off ten straight victories with as much parity as there is in the league. He also provided some updates on their injured players. He noted that there is a chance that center Sean Couturier (knee), defenseman Mark Streit (shoulder), and right winger Matt Read (oblique) could be back late this month but it’s more likely that all of those players will be out of the lineup until early January.
- Right winger Dale Weise will be a healthy scratch as the Flyers take on the Predators, reports Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Weise’s first year with Philly has not gone as anyone had hoped as he has just two goals and two assists in 29 games and this is not the first time he has been scratched either. The 28 year old is in the first of a four year deal with a cap hit of $2.35MM. Center Boyd Gordon will slot into the lineup in Weise’s place.