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Tomas Vokoun Signs Bargain Basement Deal with Capitals

Vokoun Tomas Vokoun won't be with the Panthers this season but that doesn't mean he won't be around.

Vokoun, who spent the past four years in Florida, signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million with Southeast Division rival Washington on Saturday.

The Panthers and Capitals play six times this season, the first meeting coming on Oct. 18 at Verizon Center. Vokoun's return to South Florida will come on Dec. 5.

Getting Vokoun for this kind of coin is the steal of the free agent weekend so far.

“We are excited to add an elite veteran goaltender to the Capitals,” Caps GM George McPhee said. “We now have a nice blend of talent, depth, experience and youth in the goaltending position.”

The Panthers said they would have given Vokoun as long as a three-year deal, likely in the neighborhood of $3 million per season. Vokoun turned down the Panthers final offers on Thursday and Friday with the thought that he would see what was out there.

Unfortunately for Vokoun, things dried up quick.

We had thought Tampa Bay might be a nice destination for Vokoun. The Lightning decided to give Dwayne (yes, I originally spelled it Dwyane) Roloson another shot in net.

Vokouncelebrate Phoenix and Colorado were thought to be Vokoun's other prime destinations, but the Coyotes signed former Lightning backstop Mike Smith and the Avs traded two top draft picks to Washington for Semyon Varlamov.

It's obvious Vokoun and his representation didn't see these moves coming as they were quickly left out in the cold. The Panthers told Vokoun's people that they were close on a deal with Jose Theodore. Vokoun rolled the dice. Then there was nothing left. There were even rumors that Vokoun's people came back to Florida after the Theodore signing. The Panthers said they had already moved on.

“I’m very excited to join the Washington Capitals organization,” Vokoun said in a statement. “It is a terrific team with a lot of talent. I look forward to doing everything I can for us to reach our ultimate goal in winning the Stanley Cup.”

Of course, being forced into a cheap contract could be a big chip for Vokoun to carry around on his shoulder this season. And really, $1.5 million isn't a bad consolation since he made almost $23 million in salary during his four years with the Panthers.

The positives are pretty good here. Washington is a great place to play and this team is still at the top of the division with the Lightning.

Vokoun's going to get a chance to win.

Vokounweiss Of course, we don't know who will start for the Caps as they have up-and-comer Michel Neuvirth. Vokoun could be a very good mentor for the 23-year-old as both are from the Czech Republic.

What if Vokoun turns out to be a difference maker for the Capitals and helps them get deeper into the playoffs than we're been used to?

Well, he only has a one-year deal.

Vokoun can always try this free agency thing again next July.


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Classless move on Vokouns part after stating he wanted to stay here, and really liked it in South Florida. He should have jumped at the Cats offer after they gave him the chance by informing him they were close to a deal with Theo, because you figure that by then he would have already been contacted by Colorado or Phoenix if they did in fact have any interest in him.

He won't be winning anything in Washington, I hope he has fun there because it could end up being one of his last seasons in the league as he slowly goes the way of Nabokov.

If I were him I'd fire my agent first followed by giving my best season performance ever and get me a great deal come next June. And if the latter doesn't work out, I hear Switzerland pays top money with income taxes next to nothing (see Rob Niedermeyer)...

Very surprising he could not get more. Don't blame his agent. Look how much Florida paid lesser players. Just bad luck.

Don't be so hard on Vokoun, he has played great. But yeah, a step back...I feel like he might be "the backup" for the rest of his NHL career.

I hope that the Panthers offered him some decent money and did not insult him; but it sounds like the Panthers treated him fairly if they told him that they would sign theo if he did not resign with them soon. Got to give Tallon credit there, they were fair. Remember, he said he wants guys that want to be Panthers, and does not want players waffling on wanting to come play for the Panthers.

I wish Vokoun well in Caps land, there is a lot of pressure to perform in Washington right now. They boo Ovechkin if that tells you anything.

With a suntan of course


The fact that Tallon offered a contract to Vokoun is proof that Vokoun was not a "cancer" in the locker room. Tallon only wants players who want to be Panthers first and not as a last resort, that is where Vokoun blew it.

What a waste. Tallon stood his ground with Vokun, but we regretted when they did the same with Grabner.

Vokun did blow it, but cooler heads should have prevailed and we just should have taken Vokun at a discounted rate. I believe it would have been in the best interest of the team, and obviously for Vokun himself.

Who said tallon did not try? Lots of reports on espn that tallon gave vokey once more chance to sign with the team before signing theodore. He did all he could. Vokey had his hopes set on Phoenix, and lost the game to smith.

Tallon offered Volkun twice the money, at 3 times the contract length than he got. How is that not trying.

Tallon did try before they signed Theodore, I never claimed he didn't. The point was that after we signed Theodore, Vokun was still around and obviously could be had for much less than they originally offered him.

My argument was that this team would have been better with Vokun and Theodore as opposed to the tandem they are left with now. The Panthers could have reassessed after Vokun was still left over but decided to stick to their guns. I understand why they did, but I think the team would have been better with Vokun on it.

Theodore played great for the Caps and Avs over the past 3-4 years. The guy elevates his game when he has to and has more playoff experience that Vokoun. He's a decent stop gap until Markstrom assumes the reigns. Vokoun gave Tallon no choice - sit around and wait to see who's left, or sign someone and move on. I guess Vokoun didn't trust Tallon to sign the guys he did before the deadline, which is his right, but boy did Tallon shake this team up. I'm looking forward now - forget Vokoun and hope to light him up when we play the Caps.

Totally agree with the decision made by Tallon. Vokoun was given a chance to sign before free agency, and instead went for the gamble.

Then he was given the chance again, and turned it down. The Panthers then pulled the trigger on the Theodore deal. Good decision.

I take Vokoun of Jose any day.

I take Vokoun over Jose any day.

When I was young a wise man taught me that pigs get fat, & hogs get slaughtered.

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