It’s not everyday you see a trade between two rivals like Pittsburgh and Washington, but here you go: today the Capitals traded the rights to Tomas Vokoun to Pittsburgh so the Pens could negotiate a deal before the free agency period that starts July 1st. They got that deal done in a matter of moments (you don’t think they talked money beforehand or anything, do you?), to the tune of two years and four million dollars, a flat cap hit of two-mill per.
The Pens sent some pogs and an unopened pack of O-Pee-Chee hockey cards from the 80′s back the other way. (Sorry, had my facts wrong – it was a 7th-rounder in the 2012 draft that went to Washington.)
Vokoun had to waive his no trade clause to get the deal done, meaning he pretty clearly wanted to end up on a contender. Bob McKenzie mentioned Toronto was another team that showed interest – that he didn’t go there also furthers that theory (sorry).
This means Brent Johnson has been pushed out of Pittsburgh, and the Penguins now have a reliable (albeit less tough) backup in case Marc-Andre Fleury ever does whatever the hell THIS was in playoffs again.
That’s assuming they don’t up and deal Fleury and make Vokoun the starter, but that’d be some radical GM work by Ray Shero if he ever went that far.
Still, this is a tremendous deal for the Penguins. Yes, Vokoun made half a million less last season to start for the Capitals, but that was only because the goaltending game of musical chairs during last off-season nearly left the proven starter with nowhere to sit. He made $6.3 million the season prior.
He ran into injury trouble towards the end of the year in Washington, which left the net to Michael Neuvirth and Braden Holtby - given the performance of the latter in playoffs, it’s likely Washington feels safe with their tandem, whether that’s right or wrong. But if Vokoun can get back to healthy and allow a few more games of rest for Marc-Andre Fleury, the contract could turn out to be a steal.
Speaking of steal…he could always do that to Fleury’s job too, if the young(ish) buck doesn’t smarten up.