It’s a bad start to a new chapter for goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
The Toronto Sun reports that the veteran netminder, who is on a pro tryout contract with the Maple Leafs, does not appear on the list for either of the Ottawa exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday, spending Monday doing restricted workouts with injured Leafs.
Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock did not give in more details on his condition, vaguely described it as body soreness.
“He wasn’t feeling good body-wise (Sunday) and we kept him off,” Babcock said. “Obviously, it’s not ideal for him; if he wants to battle for a job, he has to be in position to do that, but he also has to be healthy.”
Neuvirth would have needed every single minute of camp to make a case for himself to be the Leafs’ backup goalie to Frederik Andersen, however with this setback, Michael Hutchinson remains the favourite to hold the position.
On paper though, Neuvirth has a much greater track record and his career numbers overall outshine those of Hutchinson. He is more experienced., entering camp with 257 NHL games under his belt and he’s been a full-time backup for the past decade.
But this body soreness sure clouds his future with the organization and even in the NHL…