Tomas Vokoun has signed with the Pittsburg Penguins for a 2 year, $4m deal to ride the pine behind Marc-Andre Fleury. The Washington Capitals traded away their rights to Vokoun for a 7th-round pick in this years draft. Vokoun was signed on July 2, 2011 by the Capitals for the bargain basement price of $1.5m for one season. Many believed he was the missing piece the Capitals needed to make a deep playoff run. When the season started, the Caps went 7-0 with Vokoun winning six of those games. Everyone was patting General Manager George McPhee (GMGM) on the back for a job well done. However, the chants of, "KOOOUUNN!" that filled the Verizon Center quickly changed to "Blow-koun" as the netminder, and the team struggled to maintain any consistency throughout the season.
Vokoun played 48 games, going 25-17-2 with a 2.51 GAA, splitting time with fellow Czech netminder Michal Neuvirth. At the end of March, Vokoun suffered a season ending groin injury, and with Neuvirth's own injury keeping him sidelined at the end of the season, Braden Holtby took the reigns as the number one goaltender. Holtby led the Caps to their deepest playoff run in the 'Ovechkin-era' and many hope that Holtby can maintain that kind of play for a full season.
The Vokoun experiment for the Capitals is over. He wasn't expected to stay past this season anyway, but there was a lot of hope that this past eason was going to be successful. At times he looked disinterested in the game and other times he couldn't be beaten. A lot of that, in my opinion, had to do with the team itself not getting into a groove at all. The Capitals as a whole were inconsistent and you can't blame that all on the goalie.
Vokoun is still a good signing for Penguins. At 36, he is still one of the best netminders in the league and could have a chance to make Marc-Andre Fleury sweat a little at holding that number one spot. If anything though, Vokoun will ease the pain of Fleury's workload and both netminders will be well rested come playoff time next year. The Penguins are already a heavy favorite to win the Cup, and with a proven backup such as Vokoun, the sky is indeed the limit for Crosby and Co.
In his career, Vokoun has posted 287 career wins in 680 games with a 2.55 GAA and .917 SP for the Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals.