Today, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Washington Capital’s goaltender Tomas Vokoun in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. Vokoun’s contract was signed for two years at two million per year with Pittsburgh. Vokoun’s departure with Washington was inevitable. The soon to be 36-year-old goaltender signed with the Capitals last summer because the club was in dire need of a veteran presence between the pipes in hopes that it would be the answer to their postseason woes. Vokoun had also played for the Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, and the Florida Panthers.
During his first year as a Capital, Vokoun put up mediocre numbers with a record of 25-17-2 with a save-percentage of .917 in 48 games played. Vokoun lost the number one spot to Braden Holtby after suffering from a groin injury late in the season. Unfortunately for Vokoun, nobody expected Holtby to take on the reigns and become a solid goalie for Washington. As Holtby became the hot goaltender to beat, Vokoun had to endure watching the playoffs from the sideline instead of being in net or on the bench.
Now, Vokoun will have to settle for second best in Pittsburgh where he will back up the 2009 Stanley Cup goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Remembering Vokoun play earlier in his career, I am a fan of his and wish he had a different fate.
A fate that would take him to the Finals or, at best, another conference finals.
With Washington having Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth as their number one and two tandem, Vokoun was bound to leave and I believe he didn’t intend on staying more then a season anyways. Washington was smart by trading the negotiating rights to Pittsburgh for a player they weren’t going to sign in the offseason. By doing so they at least ended up acquiring a seventh-round pick instead of showing up empty handed.
Now that the third-wheel goaltender, Tomas Vokoun, is out of the picture Capital fans anxiously await for Holtby and Neuvirth to square off during training camp.
I’ve said it before and I’ll reiterate it again, I want Holtby to lead the Capitals next season.
His numbers during this year’s postseason were phenomenal and only outshined by Jonathan Quick’s nearly perfect 2012 playoff performance for Los Angeles. Regardless, what goes on in net is not of any concern for Washington or their fans. Either goaltender would do as a starter in my opinion. It is the anticipated departure of Alexander Semin and whether or not they should re-sign players is what’s on their minds. I truly believe Capital fans can say, “See ya, Semin” this offseason, but that’s a topic I will discuss in the very near future.