The Washington Capitals lucked out this off-season, signing 35-year old goalie Tomas Vokoun to a 1- year, $1.5 million deal. What a steal he is for Washington; there are 29 other goalies in the NHL with a higher base salary for this upcoming season than what he will earn. Vokoun has toiled in relative obscurity throughout his NHL career, playing in the well-established hockey hotbeds of Nashville and Florida. Last time I checked, neither of those outposts is about to overtake Detroit as Hockeytown.
While the money isn’t what Vokoun was looking for, the opportunity for him here in Washington is unbelievable. He slides into a situation where he’ll get 60+ starts for a Stanley Cup contender, he’s clearly the top goalie on the roster, and he can lend a veteran hand to 23-year old Michal Neuvirth during his year-long audition for a more lucrative contract next season. Throw in the fact that you weaken a division rival in the Florida Panthers by adding Vokoun to the mix here in Washington, and it’s hard to find flaws in George McPhee’s decision to upgrade the goalie position with this signing.
In three starts against the Washington Capitals last season, Vokoun was sensational, posting two shutouts and going 3-0 in the process. It’s nice to have that guy on our side, instead of trying to get shots past him. Even if he’s only a short-term mercenary, if Tomas Vokoun can help the Washington Capitals advance deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he’s a welcome addition to the Caps’ group of chronic Playoffs underachievers.