Found June 04, 2012 on
Red Light District Hockey:
There was a surprising bit of news this morning in the hockey world, as goaltender Tomas Vokoun’s negotiating rights were traded by Washington to Pittsburgh for a seventh-round pick. Subsequently, Vokoun inked a two-year contract with the Penguins.
The move makes sense for both Vokoun and the Penguins.
We already know the Pittsburgh Penguins are a deep team that is fully capable of winning another Stanley Cup. They were the Cup favorite going into this postseason, and they will be a Cup favorite going into the 2012-13 season. But there biggest flaw came between the pipes.
Marc-Andre Fleury was awful in giving up a total of 17 goals in the first three games of the series. At the same time, he was hung out to dry by the fact that (a) the Penguins’ defense was shoddy, and (b) there wasn’t a reliable backup goaltender for head coach Dan Bylsma to turn to.
Fleury can be a really good goalie in this league. He proved that in 2010-11 when he carried the Penguins to the playoffs without Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin for the second half. He proved that in 2009 when he backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup.
However, he needed more help behind him and that’s what Vokoun will provide. Brent Johnson and Brad Thiessen aren’t quality backup options for a guy like Fleury that needs more rest throughout the season to stay on top of his game. Fleury played in 67 games this past season; he’d probably benefit from playing just 60-62 games.
That’s where Vokoun comes into the equation.
Vokoun didn’t have a great one-year stint with the Washington Capitals. He battled injury en route to a 25-17-2 record with a 2.51 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. Not bad, but not great compared to preseason expectations.
The thing is, he’ll be turning 36 years old in July and his best years are behind him. He’s no longer considered a ‘must-have’ starting goaltender. He also doesn’t have a Stanley Cup, something he has a realistic chance at winning next season in Pittsburgh.
Vokoun is a consummate pro that will do his job and support Fleury. He’s not signing in Pittsburgh to put Fleury on the hot seat; he’s signing there for a chance to win and play on a great team, even if it’s just for 25 games or so.
Signing in Pittsburgh is a much better option for Vokoun than him going over to the KHL and quietly ending his career.
On the flip side, grabbing Vokoun for two years and $4 million is a wise move on the part of Penguins GM Ray Shero, who knows Vokoun from their days in Nashville. The signing will give Fleury more time to stay fresh, especially late in the year heading into the playoffs.
The Penguins’ most important off-season need has been scratched off the list on June 4th. How many other teams can say that?
Photo credit: Getty Images
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The Pittsburgh Penguins obtained veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun in a trade with the Washington Capitals on Monday and signed him to a two-year, $4 million contract. The Penguins gave up a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft for the 35-year-old Vokoun, general manager Ray Shero said. Vokoun just completed his 13th season in the league. Vokoun posted a 25-17-2 record with...
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the Washington Capitals for a seventh-round draft pick.
Vokoun spent only one season with the Capitals and is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He was signed last summer as one of several veterans pegged help the team win its first Stanley Cup.
But Vokoun hurt his groin late in the season and sat...
The free-agent market for goaltenders didn't promise to be particularly appealing this summer, so the Penguins made sure they didn't have to wade into that shallow pool on July 1. Pittsburgh got proactive instead, trading for the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Tomas Vokoun and signing him to a two-year deal worth $4 million on Monday. The Penguins shipped a seventh...
One of the areas that many around the National Hockey League identified as a key need for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they headed into the trade deadline back in March was that of a back-up goaltender and they have finally answered those calls by acquiring the rights to Tomas Vokoun from the Washington Capitals for a seventh-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired goalie Tomas Vokoun on Monday from the Washington Capitals for a 7th round draft pick. Vokoun, 35, had a 25-17-2 record with a .917 save percentage on the season. Vokoun immediately signed a 2 year deal with Pittsburgh. … and the offseason for most teams starts early. Vokoun will be a [...]
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired the rights to goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 7th-round pick in 2012.
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Less than one month from today, the free agent frenzy will commence; it will be here before we know it! Where will Roberto Luongo land? What will Tampa Bay do in net? Here’s a quick look at the goaltending market for the summer…Teams looking for a starter:Columbus, Tampa Bay, TorontoTeams looking for a backup:Edmonton (1B), Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, NY Islanders...
Tomas Vokoun was traded to Pittsburgh and signed a two-year deal, meaning that he won't hit the free-agent market on July 1 Continue reading →