Tomáš Vokoun

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Tomáš Vokoun
Tomáš Vokoun 2013-01-18.JPG
Vokoun with the Penguins during the 2012–13 NHL season.
Born (1976-07-02) July 2, 1976 (age 37)
Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Right
NHL team
Former teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Montreal Canadiens
Nashville Predators
Florida Panthers
Washington Capitals
National team  Czech Republic
NHL Draft 226th overall, 1994
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1995–present

Tomáš Vokoun (Czech pronunciation: [ˈtomaːʃ ˈvokou̯n]; born July 2, 1976) is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played in the NHL for the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he was originally drafted.

Playing career[edit]

Early career (1994-1998)[edit]

Vokoun was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, 226th overall. He remained in the Czech Republic for another year, playing with Poldi Kladno.

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 as he allowed four goals in only twenty minutes of play against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Vokoun playing for the Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators (1998-2007)[edit]

After another season with the Fredericton Canadiens, Vokoun was chosen by the Nashville Predators in the 1998 NHL Expansion Draft on June 26, 1998.

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 was in the NHL to stay. However, he saw only limited action as the back-up to Mike Dunham. In 2002, Dunham was traded to the New York Rangers for Marek Židlický, Tomáš Klouček and Rem Murray, and Vokoun was awarded 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 good enough in 2003-04 to send him to the All-Star Game for the first time. Possibly more important to Vokoun, though, was the chance to go to the playoffs, and the Predators earned their first trip in 2004. Although the Predators lost in six games to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs, they surprised many by giving the Red Wings more of a challenge than expected. In games three and four, 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.

Nevertheless, Vokoun had by then emerged as one of the world's elite goaltenders. His picture was placed on the cover of Nashville's city directory, testifying to his popularity in the non-traditional hockey market. Furthermore, as a fan favorite, during home games at the Sommet Center, when he made a save, the Predators fans in attendance routinely responded with a loud chant of "VOO-KOOOON!".

On April 10, 2006, the Predators announced that 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.[1] Back-up goalie Chris Mason took his place as the starter, but the Predators failed to advance in the playoffs, again losing the quarterfinals. On July 24, 2006, Vokoun was cleared to resume his career and returned for the 2006–07 NHL season.[2] However, at the beginning of the season, Vokoun hurt his thumb during a game and had 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]

Vokoun with the Panthers in 2009.

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 (no. 58) and a conditional second-round selection in either 2007 or 2008.

Vokoun was selected to play for the Eastern Conference team in the 2008 NHL All Star Game in Atlanta.

During the 2008–09 NHL season, Vokoun recorded 26 wins for the Panthers as they battled for their first playoff berth since 2000. Though 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 Monday, November 30, 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.[3]

Washington and Pittsburgh (2011-present)[edit]

Vokoun with the Capitals in 2012.

Vokoun signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals on July 2, 2011, for $1.5 million.[4] Vokoun had a rough 2011–12 NHL season with the Washington Capitals, plagued by injury and inconsistent performance.

On June 4, 2012, Vokoun was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 7th round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and was subsequently signed to a two-year, $4 million contract.[5] Since his customary sweater #29 was being worn by Marc-Andre Fleury, Vokoun opted to wear #92 with the Penguins. Vokoun is the first goaltender since Daren Puppa to wear a sweater number from 90-98.

On March 30, 2013 he set a personal best and Pittsburgh Penguins individual franchise record shutout streak of 187:30.[6] He had two consecutive shutouts (March 28 vs Winnipeg, and March 30 vs. New York Islanders), and a combined shutout with Marc-Andre Fleury on March 26 vs Montreal. Vokoun played the third period to complete the shutout after Fleury was injured at the end of the second period. On May 9, 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 Quarterfinals.[7]

Vokoun was sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery to dissolve another blood clot in his pelvis during the 2013 preseason.[8] On January 21, 2014, it was reported that Vokoun would begin skating in practice again, with no timetable as to his possible return.[9]

International play[edit]

TomasVokoun2010Olympicswarmup.jpg
Vokoun during the 2010 Olympics
Medal record
Men's ice hockey - Competitor for the Czech Republic Czech Republic
Olympic Games
Bronze 2006 Turin Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2005 Vienna Ice hockey
Gold 2010 Cologne Ice hockey
World Cup
Bronze 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 4th place. His first senior experience came at the 2003 IIHF World Championship, where the Czechs again finished in 4th place. Overall he has played for the Czechs at four IIHF World Championships, two Winter Olympics Games and also in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He backstopped the Czechs to a 3rd 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.

Personal life[edit]

Tomas Vokoun currently resides with his wife, Dagmar, and two daughters Adelle and Natalie in Parkland, Florida.

Vokoun in net for the October 13, 2011 game between the Capitals and Penguins to honor the members of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl who died in a plane crash near the Russian city of Yaroslavl.

Awards and records[edit]

  • Runner-up for the NHL Rookie of the Month award for December 1998.
  • NHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 2, 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 November 30, 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).

Each of the below records are current as of the end of the 2012–13 NHL season.

  • Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for wins (161)
  • Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for losses (159)
  • Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for goaltender appearances (383)
  • Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for saves (9,657)

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1993–94 Kladno Czech 1 0 0 0 0 20 2 0 6.00
1994–95 Kladno Czech 26 1368 70 3.07
1995–96 Wheeling Thunderbirds ECHL 35 20 10 2 0 1912 117 0 3.67 .881
1996–97 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 0 0 20 4 0 12.00 .714
1996–97 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 47 12 26 7 0 2645 154 2 3.49 .902
1997–98 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 31 13 13 2 0 1735 90 0 3.11 .907
1998–99 Nashville Predators NHL 37 12 18 4 0 1954 96 1 2.95 .908
1998–99 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 9 3 2 4 0 539 22 1 2.45 .920
1999–00 Nashville Predators NHL 33 9 20 1 0 1879 87 1 2.78 .904
1999–00 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 7 5 2 0 0 364 17 0 2.80 .921
2000–01 Nashville Predators NHL 37 13 17 5 0 2088 85 2 2.44 .910
2001–02 Nashville Predators NHL 29 5 14 4 0 1471 66 2 2.69 .903
2002–03 Nashville Predators NHL 69 25 31 11 0 3974 146 3 2.20 .918
2003–04 Nashville Predators NHL 73 34 29 10 0 4221 178 3 2.53 .909
2004–05 HC Znojemsti Orli Znojmo Czech 27 10 14 3 0 1599 69 3 2.59 .927
2004–05 HIFK SM-liiga 19 11 4 4 0 1149 35 2 1.83 .940
2005–06 Nashville Predators NHL 61 36 18 7 3600 160 4 2.67 .919
2006–07 Nashville Predators NHL 44 27 12 4 2601 104 5 2.40 .920
2007–08 Florida Panthers NHL 69 30 29 8 4030 180 4 2.68 .919
2008–09 Florida Panthers NHL 59 26 23 6 3324 138 6 2.49 .926
2009–10 Florida Panthers NHL 63 23 28 11 3695 157 7 2.55 .925
2010–11 Florida Panthers NHL 57 22 28 5 3224 137 6 2.55 .922
2011–12 Washington Capitals NHL 48 25 17 2 2583 108 4 2.51 .917
2012–13 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 20 13 4 0 1029 42 3 2.45 .919
NHL totals 700 300 288 35 43 39695 1688 51 2.55 .917

Postseason[edit]

   
Season Team League GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1994–95 Kladno Czech 5 240 19 4.75
1995–96 Wheeling Thunderbirds ECHL 7 4 3 436 19 0 2.61
1995–96 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 1 0 1 59 4 0 4.07
1998–99 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 2 0 2 149 8 0 3.22 .909
2003–04 Nashville Predators NHL 6 2 4 356 12 1 2.02 .939
2004–05 HIFK Helsinki SM-liiga 4 0 3 205 12 0 3.51 .846
2006–07 Nashville Predators NHL 5 1 4 323 16 0 2.96 .902
2012–13 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 11 6 5 685 23 1 2.01 .933
NHL totals 22 9 13 1365 51 2 2.24 .928

International[edit]

Year Team League Result GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1996 Czech Republic WJC 4th 6 2 2 0 356 21 1 3.54
2003 Czech Republic WC 4th 7 4 1 1 389 14 186 1 2.16 .925
2004 Czech Republic WC 5th 6 5 1 0 370 7 126 2 1.14 .944
2004 Czech Republic WCup Bronze medal icon.svg 5 2 3 0 303 15 126 0 2.96 .881
2005 Czech Republic WC Gold medal icon.svg 8 7 1 0 499 9 190 2 1.08 .953
2006 Czech Republic Oly Bronze medal icon.svg 7 3 3 0 342 14 136 1 2.46 .897
2010 Czech Republic Oly 7th 5 3 2 0 304 9 140 0 1.78 .936
2010 Czech Republic WC Gold medal icon.svg 8 7 1 0 496 13 234 0 1.57 .944
World Championship Totals 29 23 4 1 1754 43 736 5 1.46 .942
Olympic Totals 12 6 5 0 646 23 276 1 2.14 .917
Senior International Totals 46 31 12 1 2704 81 1138 6 1.80 .929

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Patrik Eliáš
Golden Hockey Stick
2010
Succeeded by
Jaromír Jágr