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Vokoun out 3-6 months

Oct 2, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT

Tomas Vokoun AP

Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun is out 3-6 months as a result of his blood-clot issues.

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero shared the timeline today.

In the meantime, Shero says the Pens will give Jeff Zatkoff the opportunity to back up starter Marc-Andre Fleury. At the moment, there are no plans to bring in another goalie.

Zatkoff, 26, has yet to play an NHL game; however, he’s put up good numbers with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“I want to go with the goaltending we have here and see how we do,” Shero said. “Like anything, you’ll evaluate as you go. Since Tomas has been out I know who every available free agent goalie is because I’ve gotten calls from their agents and other teams.

“Right now I want to go with this and see how we do. I want to give Jeff the opportunity, which I think he’s deserved.”

As for Vokoun, the 37-year-old veteran called three months “a minimum” amount of time before he’s back.

“Right now I’m not thinking about my career or playing hockey,” he said. “I’m more worried about long-term health,”

Related: Pens ‘not currently interested’ in Bryzgalov

  1. whiskytango333 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Zatkoff will be starting reguarly by November. Get well soon, Tomas, we will need a reliable backup for Zatkoff for the playoffs!

  2. thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    If his (Vokoun) thoughts are that serious, maybe he should just hang em up.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      After he registered the third best stats of any goalie in the entire playoffs last year I bet there are about 27 teams encouraging Vokoun to “just hang me’ up”….,.

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        I just meant if the health concerns are THAT serious…..

  3. curioustraveler13 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Get better Vokoun. Health trumps hockey. Pens will be fine.

    • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Funny, I worded it differently, yet got a bunch of thumbs down.

  4. thecheeman - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Moose Hedberg is the obvious call to make here.

  5. hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Not sure why the thumbs down, but I agree with you. He was very concerned he may die, you can tell from his interviews that he was spooked. Millions in the bank are no good if you aren’t going to be around to spend them.

    • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Am I correct in assuming this was a response to my post? Cuz I don’t understand the hate either. I like Vokoun, and respect him as a goalie. He can still play, obviously, so if he is concerned enough to entertain “long term health” thoughts, it seems like he has his head on straight.

      • hockey412 - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        Agreed – yes, not sure why it didn’t show as a reply, I believe it to be user error.

  6. happy4shr - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Get well Vokoun!!

  7. kjjm4 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    I’d like to see the Pens give Zatkoff a reasonable amount of playing time to see how he fairs at the NHL level. Fleury is obviously not going to be here long term. The Pens don’t need a superstar goalie. Just somebody who isn’t a basketcase.

    • thecheeman - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Why is that so obvious? He’s signed through 2015 and might get his game back over the next two years anyway.

      • stakex - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        Don’t count on that.

        Pens fans on here HATE when I point out the facts about Fleury, but its a fact that he never lost his game…. he was simply over rated to begin with. Granted, his playoff play the last two seasons was worse then he usually is, but the notion that he was somehow a good goalie gone bad is (and has always been) false. He was average at best, and racked up a lot of wins because of how good the team was in front of him. His S% and GAA average were always so-so at best.

        If the Pens keep him beyond his current deal (or even that long) I will be very surprised. They can easily find a much cheaper goaltender to do what he’s done.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        Stakex, Pens fans hate you because half of them are bandwagon garbage fans that can’t respect other teams’ talent anyway(and they’re also currently hawks fans until a new power team emerges)and the other half of us realize that you have NEVER had a single positive thing to say about the Pens or any of the players in the organization. Half the time your “facts” are ridiculous opinionated versions of half truths. You’re quick to criticize and slow to give credit. The first can never be taken seriously if you’re never willing to admit the second.

  8. stakex - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    That sucks for Vokoun, especially at his age. I don’t like the Pens, but you never wish something like this on a player and a team.

    The good news is that he’s fine, its just that you can’t play hockey while on blood thinners.

  9. jacketsfan7 - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    What about hartzell? That kid impressed the hell out of me during the preseason

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