ShareThis Page

Agent: Penguins goalie Vokoun feels better after surgery

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 3:30 p.m.
Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun watches during practice on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun watches during practice on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

Tomas Vokoun is feeling like his old self, his NHL agent said Friday.

“He said he is feeling like the day before the incident,” Allan Walsh said of Vokoun, who had surgery to dissolve a blood clot last Saturday.

Walsh added that Vokoun “will hit the gym” next week and is “cleared to start skating.”

“Tomas is of the frame of mind to continue playing as soon as doctors give all clear,” Walsh said.

Vokoun, the Penguins' backup goalie, is not permitted to comment on his condition without approval from management, per club policy.

However, he spoke with some media in his native Czech Republic, and the result was an attributed report that Vokoun had nearly died and would not play again in the NHL.

Not true, Walsh said Friday.

“He talked to a couple of reporters and said he recalled saying something along the lines of surgery being scary, but he never said his life was in danger and he almost died,” Walsh said. “That's not the case. That's an embellishment and not accurate. He wanted the record cleared up.”

The recent surgery marked his second to treat a blood clot. The previous one occurred in 2006.

Vokoun is considered “out indefinitely” by the Penguins, and management has not expressed an expected recovery timetable.

The Penguins are carrying three goalies on their roster, which includes 26 skaters. Rosters must be pared to 23 players by Monday.

Vokoun counts $2 million against the $64.3 million salary cap. The Penguins must shave at least $1 million by Monday.

Vokoun is eligible for a long-term injury (LTI) designation, which temporarily would remove his value from the Penguins' cap — though general manager Ray Shero has declined to commit to that option.

A player on LTI resumes counting against the cap upon returning.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Friday there was no update on Vokoun.

Vokoun did not accompany teammates, coaches and members of management to West Point, N.Y., where the Penguins are undergoing three days of bonding activities at the U.S. Military Academy. Mental exercises will dominate the activities, Bylsma said. Players also will practice for three days before returning Monday.

The Penguins open the season Thursday against New Jersey at Consol Energy Center.

Vokoun will not be available for that game, Bylsma said Tuesday. Marc-Andre Fleury already had been tabbed as the starter.

Although Vokoun replaced him for part of the first and all of the second and third rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs last postseason, Fleury is the No. 1 goalie, Bylsma has said.

Note: Defenseman Brooks Orpik is not expected to miss the opener. He is day-to-day with an undisclosed lower-body injury, Bylsma said. Orpik did not finish an exhibition game Wednesday at Detroit.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.