Penguins goalie Vokoun medically cleared
Tomas Vokoun isn't ready for retirement just yet.
Vokoun, the goaltender who has been out since September with a career-threatening pelvic blood clot, practiced with the Penguins on Wednesday at Consol Energy Center and pronounced himself willing and able to play again this season.
“I'm medically cleared to do anything I need to do for my job,” Vokoun said.
His job, when healthy, is that of Marc-Andre Fleury's backup. Vokoun performed admirably last season, posting a 13-4 record and backstopping two playoff series victories.
Everything changed for Vokoun in September when, for the second time in his career, he was sidetracked by a blood clot.
Vokoun reports feeling healthy and suggested that he simply needs to get in better shape before possibly playing again.
“I have to (play this season),” Vokoun said. “If I didn't, I wouldn't be out here.”
The Penguins recently signed goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, who has been backing up Fleury this season, to a two-year contract extension. However, the team wouldn't mind having a more veteran presence behind Fleury this season.
Vokoun said he would prefer to finish his career “as a player” and not watching games from his Florida home.
“You never know what will happen,” he said. “The team has shown interest in me coming back. I'm still a paid player under contract.”
Vokoun initially was ruled out for three to six months when the injury occurred in September. He is no longer on blood thinners.
“I did tests before the (Olympic) break,” Vokoun said. “Everything seems to be fine.”
Vokoun has acknowledged at times during the past five months that he has considered retirement. Still, at 37, he remains eager to play in the NHL again.
Currently on the long term injured reserve list, Vokoun's $2 million salary will be applied to the team's salary-cap figure should he return, which would put the Penguins only $500,000 under the cap.
“It's been a long time,” Vokoun said. “It's not easy (to come back) but I've played for a long time. As you get older, you realize how fast the time went by, and you miss hockey. It's nice to be back and to be part of the team, no matter what my role is.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Minor league report: Other prospects on Penguins’ radar
- Penguins notebook: Memorable night for Pouliot, Trocheck
- Pouliot scores in NHL debut as Penguins tame Panthers
- With 3 more players possibly affected, Pens’ mumps fight escalates
- Penguins notebook: Kunitz ‘really close’ to return
- Penguins’ Maatta to seek second opinion for shoulder
- Penguins star Crosby talks about his experience with mumps
- Mumps confirmed for Penguins’ Bennett; team intern also affected
- Penguins continue to thrive, despite spate of ailments
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime