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Tomáš Vokoun (Czech pronunciation: [ˈtomaːʃ ˈvokoun]; born 2 July 1976) is a Czech former professional ice hockey goaltender. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he was originally drafted in the ninth round, 226th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
2 July 1976|
Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
HC Znojemsti Orli Znojmo
|National team||Czech Republic|
226th overall, 1994|
- 1 Playing career
- 2 International play
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Awards and records
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early career (1994–1998)Edit
Vokoun moved to North America for the 1995–96 season and played for the Wheeling Thunderbirds of the ECHL. He was called up to the Fredericton Canadiens of the American Hockey League (AHL) and played one playoff game. Having proven himself in the ECHL, Vokoun spent the 1996–97 season in Fredericton and played in his only game for Montreal; it was not a stellar debut, however, as he allowed four goals in only 20 minutes of play against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Nashville Predators (1998–2007)Edit
Vokoun played 37 games for Nashville in their debut season and played nine games for the Milwaukee Admirals in the International Hockey League (IHL). Although he again split time between the two clubs the following season, by 2000, Vokoun established himself in the NHL, though he initially only saw limited action as the back-up to starter Mike Dunham. In 2002, Dunham was traded to the New York Rangers for Marek Židlický, Tomáš Klouček and Rem Murray, effectively awarding Vokoun the starting job.
Vokoun acquitted himself well when given the chance to start, and he shouldered a heavy load for the Predators. His play was solid enough in 2003–04 to send him to the All-Star Game for the first time. However, possibly more important to Vokoun was the opportunity for play-off contention, which the Predators earned for the first time in 2004. Although the Predators lost in six games to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, they surprised many by giving the Red Wings more of a challenge than expected. In Games 3 and 4, both played in Nashville, Vokoun awed spectators with his performance netting the first-ever playoff shutout in franchise history by stopping 41 Red Wing shots.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Vokoun played 19 regular season games for HIFK in the Finnish SM-liiga, posting a .940 save percentage. In the playoffs, Vokoun did not perform as well, posting an .846 save percentage in four games, the worst in the league in that year's playoffs.
On 10 April 2006, the Predators announced Vokoun was afflicted by thrombophlebitis of the pelvis, a blood-clotting condition. He missed the team's remaining regular season games and the entire playoffs while he recovered by taking blood-thinning drugs and avoiding physical activity. Back-up goaltender Chris Mason took his place as the starter, but the Predators failed to advance in the playoffs, again losing in the quarter-finals. On 24 July 2006, Vokoun was cleared to resume his career and returned for the 2006–07 NHL season. However, at the beginning of the season, Vokoun injured his thumb during a game and was required to have surgery. Pins were put in this thumb, and he played with the pins and a brace on his thumb.
Florida Panthers (2007–2011)Edit
On the day of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Vokoun was traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, a second-round selection in the 2007 draft (58th overall) and a conditional second-round selection in either 2007 or 2008. Vokoun's nine-year tenure in Nashville had him setting many of the Predators' goaltending records, all of which were overtaken by Pekka Rinne in the following decade.
During the 2008–09 NHL season, Vokoun recorded 26 wins for the Panthers as they battled for their first playoff berth since 2000. Although they ultimately fell short, the Panthers' being in position to qualify was due in large part to the goaltending of Vokoun and fellow goaltender Craig Anderson.
Vokoun was injured by teammate Keith Ballard in a game on 30 November 2009, when Ballard hit Vokoun with an errant stick in the head. Vokoun was carried off the ice on a stretcher and was treated at a nearby hospital for an ear laceration. Vokoun had just given up a goal to Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers and Ballard went to break his stick on the goal post in frustration, but caught Vokoun instead.
Washington and Pittsburgh (2011–2014)Edit
Vokoun signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals on 2 July 2011 worth $1.5 million. Vokoun had a rough 2011–12 NHL season with the Capitals, as it was plagued by injury and inconsistent performance.
With Washington resorting to youngster Braden Holtby as their starting goaltender, Vokoun was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on 4 June 2012 in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The following day, Vokoun signed to a two-year, $4 million contract. Since his customary sweater number 29 was being worn by Marc-André Fleury, Vokoun opted to wear number 92 with the Penguins; he became the first goaltender since Daren Puppa to wear a sweater number from 90 to 98.
On 30 March 2013, Vokoun set a personal best and Pittsburgh Penguins individual franchise record shutout streak of 187:30. He had two consecutive shutouts (on 28 March against the Winnipeg Jets and on 30 March against the New York Islanders) and a combined shutout with Marc-André Fleury on 26 March against the Montreal Canadiens. Vokoun played the third period to complete the shutout after Fleury was injured at the end of the second period. On 9 May 2013, Vokoun made his first playoff start in six seasons, a 31-save shutout against the New York Islanders in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-finals.
Vokoun was sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery to dissolve another blood clot in his pelvis during the 2013 pre-season. On 21 January 2014, it was reported Vokoun would begin skating in practice again, with no timetable as to his possible return. On 15 December 2014, Vokoun announced his retirement.
Vokoun during the 2010 Olympics
|Men's ice hockey – Competitor for the Czech Republic|
|2006 Turin||Ice hockey|
|2005 Vienna||Ice hockey|
|2010 Cologne||Ice hockey|
|2004 World Cup||Ice hockey|
Vokoun has represented the Czech Republic many times over the course of his playing career. His first international experience came with the under-20 team at the 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, where the Czechs finished in fourth place. His first senior experience came at the 2003 IIHF World Championship, where the Czechs again finished in fourth place. Overall, he has played for the Czechs at four IIHF World Championships, two Winter Olympic Games and also in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He backstopped the Czechs to a third-place finish at the World Cup, gold medals at the 2005 and 2010 World Championships and won bronze with the team at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.
Awards and recordsEdit
- Runner-up for the NHL Rookie of the Month award for December 1998.
- NHL Player of the Week for the week ending 2 January 2000 (3–0–0, 1 shutout, 1.33 goals against average (GAA), .960 save percentage; he was the first Predator to ever win this award).
- NHL Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending 30 November 2003 (4–0–0, 1.50 GAA, .950 save percentage).
- Selected to play for the Western Conference in the 2004 NHL All-Star Game.
- Selected to play for the Eastern Conference in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game.
- NHL Defensive Player of the Month for January 2010 (NHL's Third Star of the Month, 8–4–2, 1.49 GAA, .956 SV%, 4 SO).
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|1993–94||Poldi SONP Kladno||ELH||2||1||1||0||—||60||5||0||5.00||.839||2||2||0||120||14||0||7.00||.811|
|1994–95||Poldi SONP Kladno||ELH||26||13||9||—||1334||68||0||3.06||.915||5||2||3||241||19||0||4.75||.872|
|2004–05||HC Znojemští Orli||ELH||27||10||14||3||—||1599||69||3||2.59||.927||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Nashville's Vokoun will miss entire postseason". 10 April 2006.
- "Vokoun to return after dealing with blood ailment". 25 July 2006.
- Predators trade Vokoun to Panthers for draft picks
- Rinne Sits Atop Preds Goaltending History
- Tomas Vokoun: Pekka Rinne great eraser for Predators
- "2008 NHL All-Star Game Roster". Hockey-Reference. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- "Vokoun forgives Ballard, now forget about it". NHL.com. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Washington signs Vokoun to one-year, $1.5 million contract". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "Penguins Acquire Goaltender Tomas Vokoun; Veteran Netminder Signs Two-Year Contract". NHL.com. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Penguins' perfect month by the numbers". NHL.com. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Sidney Crosby, Tomas Vokoun shine as Pittsburgh Penguins top New York Islanders". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Penguins goalie Vokoun out indefinitely with clot". NHL.com. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Vokoun to skate Wednesday". NHL.com. Retrieved 29 January 2014.