McPhee: Caps will match any Alzner, Johansson offer sheet; ‘not interested’ in trading Neuvirth
It appears George McPhee will hold onto all his young talent.
On Monday, the Washington GM said he would match any offer sheet made to his restricted free agents -- forward Marcus Johansson and defenseman Karl Alzner -- and said he had “no interest” in trading goalie Michal Neuvirth.
Johansson, 22, had a solid 2013 campaign in which he often played on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, scoring 6G-16A-22PTS in 34 games. He’s in the final season of a three-year, $2.7 million deal.
Alzner, 24, set a career-high for average time on ice per game (20:57), upping it to 22:18 in the playoffs. The former No. 5 overall pick finished second on the team in blocked shots last year (85), fourth among all defensemen in hits (45) and is in the final year of a two-year, $2.57 million deal.
Finally, there’s Neuvirth.
He spent 2013 in the same position he spent the 2011-12 playoffs -- in a backup role behind Braden Holtby.
Neuvirth, 25, only played in 13 games to Holtby’s 36, and didn’t get a sniff in the postseason as Holtby was the goalie of record in all of Washington’s seven opening-round games against the Rangers.
What’s confusing is that, in April, Neuvirth signed a two-year, $5 million extension with the Caps -- making him the higher paid goalie.
Holtby signed a modest two-year, $3.7 million extension back in February.
For McPhee, there’s no confusion. He feels those deals give Washington what he wants -- solid goaltending depth.
“We’re not interested in trading [Neuvirth], McPhee explained. “Why not have as many good [goalies] as we can?”
Update: McPhee also announced that video coach Blaine Forsythe had been promoted to assistant coach, replacing Tim Hunter.