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Will Vokoun play again? ‘I will try’

Dec 1, 2013, 11:19 PM EDT

Tomas Vokoun AP

Tomas Vokoun spoke with the media regarding his blood clot situation on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie didn’t seem any more certain of his condition than he was months ago.

While the 37-year-old hasn’t had any setbacks and says things are going well, he also didn’t rule out the possibility of retirement to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Live.

“It’s hard to look that far ahead,” Vokoun said. “But definitely, if I get cleared, I want to try. We’ll see. I don’t have definite yes or no.”

He points out that this isn’t exactly the kind of injury that you can rehab.

“When you play professional sports, you’ve got to understand that it’s not going to be forever,” Vokoun said. “I always choose my health over anything else. Saying that, maybe that’s never going to be an issue, either. Whatever happens I’m kind of preparing for the worst-case scenario. Best-case scenario, everything is going to be OK, and I can make a decision if I’m going to play or not.”

So … the Penguins might want to make alternate plans if they’re not totally sold on Marc-Andre Fleury (who, by the way, has mostly been competent this season).

  1. ash0war - Dec 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Get better soon Vokoun! Hope to see u back in net but if u can’t that’s ok too. Heath is the # 1 thing.

  2. steelers88 - Dec 1, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Like I said before I’d rather see him retire and live a good long healthy life with his family, then play hockey and not live as long as a life as he could have. His health and his family are obviously number 1 and hockey is second. If he does come back he shouldn’t rush it. If he does come back I would like to see come back after the Olympic break. I pray that he has the wisdom and knowledge to make the right decision. Just don’t rush it Vokoun take your time making your decision.

  3. jpen66 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Hope Vokoun can come back, but if not Zatkoff has been ok thus far. Sarcasm about Fleury is ok ,as he has been really good thus far. Hope he keeps it up, for a long playoff run.

  4. mcphillthy - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    You hate to see someone lose their career over an injury. Even though I detest you Penguins fans I do hope to see vokoun be able to live his dream for a lot longer. Get well soon, vokoun

  5. dan46778 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    He can always retire n then play for my men’s league team we need a new goalie

  6. hockey412 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    So I wonder what happens if he “tries” and it doesn’t work? More blood clots, or what? I guess I don’t know much about this kind of health issue, but damn it seems like a big chance to take.

    Fleury’s had a couple of bad games, but for the most part has been much more than mostly competent…he’s been better than many being suggested for Team Canada (no I’m not suggesting he should be considered at this point). Zatkoff has been excellent after his first start. If he’s coming back it’ll be more for ‘one more run’…last year of his contract, and I’d imagine it’s his last one.

    • joey4id - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      There are chances of recurrence. In order to prevent recurrences doctors will prescribe a long term blood thinning medication, which itself can cause serious bleeding. If Vokun chooses not to take the mediation to avoid the risk of serious bleeding, then he exposes himself to the risks if getting more blood clots, which may or may not be identified before the clot causes serious illness, or worst case death. Family history could also be a factor in the decision to proceed with meds. The risk of recurrences increases when you travel long distances by car, train, bus or plane. In other words, any long period of immobility such as sitting on a chair.

  7. chanceoffleury - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    I think it goes without saying, any of us that contain any sort of empathy within us want to see Vokoun get better and return. Even after so many fans of other teams reveled in the “Dream Team” Penguins coming up short, I feel that most people could do nothing but tip their hat to Vokoun. Of all the veterans the Pens went out and got who said they were “desperate” to win a Cup, Vokoun, unlike so many of the others, actually showed up and played like he knew he was not going to get many more chances to ever get as close as the Pens did. You can’t ask for anything more out of a starter than the performance he gave in the final 2 games, let alone your backup goalie. At this point I don’t care who he does it with, I just want him to win a Cup. It’d be nice if he could do it this year with the Pens, but even if it doesn’t happen I don’t care who it’s with I just want him to get that perfect ending so he can retire with peace of mind to concentrate on his health and making sure he can enjoy the memories of winning it for many years to come.

    • joey4id - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      I agree with everything that you wrote. However, I’m afraid that the risk is too big for him to continue playing. The best thing for him is to take care of his health and stay close to his family. If the Pens win the cup then I’m sure they will make him feel like he’s a big part of the win. No one’s long term health should be second to playing a sport.

  8. steelers88 - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Vokoun deserves to win the Stanley Cup. I hope the Penguins rally around Vokoun and win the cup for him. He deserves to lift the cup above his head and he deserves a championship ring. If the Penguins were to win the cup it would a great ending of Vokoun’s career. This reminds me of Jerome Bettis and the Steelers.

  9. muckleflugga - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM


    you’re a beacon, your dudeness…

    i enjoy your posts and the reason apparent therein

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