Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 6/4/12


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

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FIFA Penalizes 7 countries for discriminatory acts

Report: Jets offering Ryan Fitzpatrick 3-year deal, $12 million for 2016

Ezekiel Elliott bought parents a new house with his first check

Warriors, Thunder taking turns beating each other in the opposite style

Yoenis Cespedes open to spending rest of career with Mets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Los Angeles Kings reportedly to strip Dustin Brown of captaincy

Report: Sixers to gauge interest in Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel

Rob Ryan echoes brother Rex: ‘Bring Belichick on. We got him’

Wizards will offer Beal max contract

Report: Owners unhappy with Robert Kraft's letter for Brady

LeBron: Cavs need ‘urgency from the start’ in Game 6

WATCH: D’Angelo Russell trolled by Adam Sandler and David Spade

WATCH: LeBron jukes defender, throws down one-handed dunk

Scientists call for Rio Olympics relocation or rescheduling

The biggest questions about the WWE brand split

U.S. Women’s Soccer players demand right to strike over equal pay, as Olympics near

Pat Riley reportedly hates the Dwyane Wade-LeBron James friendship

UEFA Champions League Final: The two Madrids and history in Milan

Memphis newspaper confuses Juwan Howard for David Fizdale

The tale of Kevin Love's inconsistent play

WATCH: Raiders release video promoting move to Las Vegas

Ricky Williams opening marijuana-friendly gym

Report: Utley's family received death threats after NLDS slide

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker