WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15: Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Ottawa Senators in the second period at Verizon Center on October 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The Capitals have traded soon-to-be free agent goaltender Tomas Vokoun to the Penguins in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Tomas Vokoun has been traded from the Washington Capitals to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, as announced via NHL.com on Monday morning. Vokoun was set to leave the Capitals after one injury-plagued season with the team, and he would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1 had Pittsburgh been unable to lock him up with a deal.
For the Capitals, this deal is about getting something for nothing. They were going to lose Vokoun come July 1 anyway, so to get something for his rights is a win for general manager George McPhee.
For the Penguins, the deal could be seen as a way to get Marc-Andre Fleury some rest. He's played more than 70 games (including playoffs) in each of the last four seasons.
For those wanting to think deeper into this, Vokoun has been a very solid goaltender since the 2004-05 lockout, among the best in the NHL. His only set back was this past season with Washington in which he only played 48 games thanks to injury, and given Fleury's poor play in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs against Philadelphia, one might believe that Ray Shero has a little bit more than just a reliable backup to Fleury in mind with Vokoun.
The 35-year-old veteran might not take Fleury's job, but he could challenge Fleury in a way the 27-year-old hasn't seen thus far in his NHL career.
Vokoun earned $1.5 million with the Capitals in 2011-12. He waived his no-movement clause to accept the trade.