Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com got a hold of Tomas Vokoun's agent on Saturday, with Michael C. Deutsch telling LeBrun that Vokoun hasn't ruled out returning to the Panthers. But, don't expect anything to happen until July 1.
You can read the entire story here. LeBrun also spoke with Dale Tallon. The Panthers GM said the Panthers could come to a deal with Vokoun before July 1.
Again, I would doubt it. Remember that Vokoun has never been a free agent before. This is his last chance for a big contract. He's going to weigh his many options. Of course, the best option could be with the Panthers.
Mike Santos told me last week that the Panthers would like to have something done on this front before July 1 when Vokoun is free to sign with anyone.
Why? Because once July 1 hits, the Panthers are going to start looking elsewhere. As much as both may want to stay together -- and I would call that lukewarm on both sides as it is -- once July 1 comes, each side has to look out for themselves. If the Panthers think they can do better, and Vokoun is still undecided, they will move on.
The Panthers will come in next season with Scott Clemmensen at the very least; Clemmensen is signed through the 2011-12 season. Expect Jacob Markstrom to start the season in the AHL.
Oh, and remember that story from the Czech Republic from last week?
From ESPN: Deutsch said Saturday that Vokoun denied speaking to the newspaper. "They weren't his quotes," Deutsch said.