2011-2012 Washington Capitals Player Profile: Tomas Vokoun
When I heard that the Capitals signed veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun, I was ecstatic. I knew the Capitals really wanted Vokoun, but I never thought that he’d be willing to take less money to put himself on a Stanley Cup caliber team. When we look back at the 2011 NHL offseason, I can almost guarantee we will see Vokoun as the biggest bargain.
Tomas Vokoun has taken an interesting path through his NHL career. He was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens, not sold on Vokoun, left him unprotected during the 1998 expansion draft, where he was chosen by the Nashville Predators. He stayed in Nashville for just under a decade, leaving the Predators in 2007 and signing with the Florida Panthers. This offseason, the Panthers decided to let him test the free agency market, and the Capitals picked him up.
Vokoun has been a streaky goalie throughout his career. If he’s hot, he’s amazing and pretty much nothing gets by him. If he’s cold, he has the tendency to let easy goals in. He can get himself into trouble if he starts playing to the score.
Tomas Vokoun brings several things to the Capitals. First off, he’s a veteran goaltender. The Caps haven’t had a good veteran goaltender since the days of Olaf Kolzig. They’ve been trying to find one ever since, and now they’ve found one. Secondly, Vokoun is going to do wonders for young goalie Michal Neuvrith. Vokoun is a guy who knows how to prepare for opponents. He knows the preparation and training it takes to be a solid NHL goalie. Vokoun has taken on a mentor role with Neuvrith. Vokoun’s presence is allowing Neuvrith to get more practice time with Olaf Kolzig and be prepared for when he’ll have to be a starter next year.
Vokoun is a butterfly goalie. He’s had his history of injuries (as do most butterfly goalies), so he can’t move around as well as he used to. But he still has a very quick glove and he wields the stick extremely well.
To see Vokoun’s career stats, click here.