The Toronto Maple Leafs have been looking for another goaltender to compete for the backup role behind starter Frederik Andersen and it seems like they may have found someone that could potentially filly that role.
According to a breaking news report from Bill Meltzer of the Philadelphia Flyers' it now appears that veteran National Hockey League goaltender Michal Neuvirth has agreed to a professional tryout offer with the Toronto Maple Leafs. According to Meltzer Neuvirth was currently training with the Czech national team in Sparta when he was approached with the tryout offer and made the decision to take another shot at the NHL with Toronto.
Generally speaking professional tryout offers are extremely low risk options for NHL teams as they do not in any way guarantee a player a roster spot, but this one may be more risky than usual. The biggest knock against Neuvirth throughout his NHL career has been his complete lack of consistency between the pipes, something that has been exacerbated by the fact that the veteran goaltender has never been able to stay healthy.
In fact Neuvirth has never played more than 48 games in a single season and that cane all the way back in 2010 - 2011 when he was a member of the Washington Capitals, the team that selected him in the second round (34th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. When healthy Neuvirth was good for the Flyers backstopping 32 games for them in the 2015 - 2016 NHL regular season and recording a 2.27 goals against average and a .924 save percentage, but the other side of that coin was rather ugly. Most recently Neuvirth appeared in just 7 games for the Flyers and recorded an abysmal 4.27 goals against average and a .859 save percentage.
The Maple Leafs will obviously be hoping that the healthy version of Neuvirth will be showing up to their training camp, but therein lies the risk. Neuvirth could start the season healthy but you have to wonder if he does, and if he does get a contract with Toronto, how long will he be able to maintain his good health?
Only time will tell.