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.

Comments (5)

  1. I’m sad to see Johnson go, but he was less than reliable this year. I hope Fleury/Vokoun is the 2012-13 version of Lundqvist/Biron. If that unopened O-Pee-Chee pack is from Lemieux’s rookie year or even Yzerman’s rookie year it would be worth more than the 7th rounder.

  2. I am confused as to why the Caps didnt ask for more. I realize they wanted to get rid of him, but hes one of the better backups in the league I would think, capable of stealing the starter spot. I would think half the league would have been in the market for him. So why settle on just a 7th rounder?

    I realize there isnt much difference between a 5th and a 7th when it comes to chances of making an impact in the NHL, but a low 7th is a throwaway pick.

    • He was only signed for 1 year so he’d go to free agency in less than a month. A 7th round pick is nothing more than the throw of a dice but they would have gotten nothing in a few weeks time.

      Meanwhile, the Pens get a proven NHL goaltender and his price hasn’t been inflated by a bidding war.

      Pretty smart all round really.

    • Vokoun had a no trade clause, so while they may have shopped his rights to other teams he might not have been interested in them, (like Bourne mentioned about Toronto.)

  3. Vokouns agent sucks, he could have got more money to be a starter if he hit free agency.

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