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Vokoun figures this is probably his last season

Apr 10, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT

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Tomas Vokoun is in the AHL on a conditioning stint as he tries to return from a blood-clot issue. Jeff Zatkoff established himself as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ backup in his absence, but if he’s healthy, Vokoun would be a nice insurance policy given his success in the 2013 playoffs and his overall experience.

Whatever role the Penguins have in mind for him, Vokoun is open to it. But it doesn’t sound like this is a step towards a 2014-15 comeback campaign.

“When (I talked to the Penguins’ coaches) back in January, I told them I’m open-minded,” the 37-year-old goaltender said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Regardless of what happened, I was 90 percent sure it was going to be my last season anyway.”

Vokoun is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Penguins seem set to move forward with Zatkoff after handing him a contract extension.

If this is the end, he’ll hang up his skates with 300 wins in 700 games. He was one of the NHL’s top goaltenders during his prime, but he didn’t get many opportunities to win the Cup while playing primarily for Nashville and Florida. Of course, nothing has been decided this season. He still might retire a champion.

  1. toiletclown - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    AWESOME goalie

  2. patthehockeyfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    In reading the entire article on the TribLive link, Vokoun sounds as if he’s got a really good head on his shoulders. He’s fine with whatever role he’s assigned. Gotta like a guy who’s a realist.

    Understanding that the health issue doesn’t have anything to do with it, it’s too bad this is his last year. Even though I’m a Kings’ fan, it wouldn’t hurt (a little; but, not too badly) if he was able to get The Cup in this, his last season.

    Good luck to him. More importantly, good health to him. Live a long and healthy life, Tomas!

    • seniorteacherdot - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      He is a classy guy. The best to him and let’s hope the Penguins win the cup for him!

  3. rushledger - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Hope he does well with Wilkes Barre. He would be a great insurance policy just in case something happens with either goalie. You can never have enough bodies for a deep playoff run.

  4. c9castine - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Vokoun proved to be one of the most valuable members of the team last year. He was a big reason we made it as far as we did and did his best to keep us in every game in the ECF. Hes a great leader, teammate and person.

    Im happy with the way this has gone, if this is his last season he can retire as an active player, having stood with his teammates, with some dignity

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Vokoun become a crowd favorite last year quickly especially with the “Vokoun” chants

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