Monday, June 4, 2012

Penguins Acquire Tomas Vokoun

Usually I don't do a lot about teams that aren't in season unless it is something big and with the baseball draft coming up later today and me having some other stuff to do today I just don't have a lot of time especially with a real job that I do on a day-to-day basis. That being said there was an interesting move the Penguins made today when they acquired the rights to Washington Capitals backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun. The Penguins give up a seventh round pick in the 2012 draft so this is pretty much a low risk move but I still like it a lot.

Vokoun spent last season with the Capitals after being the number one man in Florida for seven years. He appeared in 48 games last year for the Caps winning 25 games, posting a 2.51 goals against average and having a .917 save percentage. He missed much of the second half of the year with a groin injury that was pretty serious and never came back.

Over his career Vokoun has played in 680 games, winning 287. He has a career 2.55 GAA and a .917 save percentage and right now he would be a huge upgrade over Brent Johnson if the Penguins are able to sign him. Once again the Penguins only traded for his rights as he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. This past season he earned $1.5M and I would expect that he wouldn't even make that much if he would sign with the Penguins. Vokoun also had to waive a no movement clause in order for his rights to be traded to the Penguins.

While Vokoun is 35 years old he is still able to play some pretty good hockey as evidence by a pretty good year with the Capitals last season and some really good years for some bad Florida teams. Johnson was good for the Penguins in the backup spot two years ago but this year he was just really bad and a lot think that the workload on Marc Andre Fleury so I would assume that if Vokoun came to the same role that Johnson was only he should play a little more (and better) than Johnson did this year.

Like I said I like this deal a ton of the Penguins can get him signed and with the fact that he waived a NMC to get to Pittsburgh. I have also been a Vokoun fan for some time and he should be an immediate upgrade over the backup goaltending situation that the team had this season. Not sure what this means for Brad Thiessen but if Vokoun is signed I think we all can assume that the Penguins don't feel he is ready to assume a full backup role. To be honest I think Vokoun will play a good bit if he is here. That is not saying he will overtake MAF because that would be ridiculous to say but it will be nice to have another quality goaltender behind him.

EDIT: About ten minutes after posting this the Penguins announced that they have signed Vokoun to a two year deal with an average annual value of $2M. This seems about right for Vokoun and this is outstanding news for the Penguins.

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