Vokoun's foot was sowllen, with blood clots from his mid-leg to his heart, which threatened his life. The goaltender stated that he was/still is contemplating whether to end his career and that he would be willing to do so if his doctors believe that is the best course of action, via Roman Jedlicka of TV NOVA Sport:
#Pens goalie Tomas Vokoun for Czech idnes.cz: "I was lucky I was sent to hospital so quickly. I nearly died during weekend. My foot was (1)— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) September 26, 2013
swollen, I had blood clots from mid-thigh almost to the heart. I was thinking about the end of my career. It would not be so difficult (2)— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) September 26, 2013
decision. Now I will do what doctors say. Health is clearly the main thing. I hope I have more than half of life ahead of me." (end)— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) September 26, 2013
Vokoun has a history of blood clot issues, as he was diagnosed with pelvic thrombophlebitis in April of 2006. Obviously, his health is the most important component of this situation and he needs to make decisions based upon his quality of life. For the Penguins, this means the club needs to prepare for a potential future without Vokoun. Marc-Andre Fleury is the team's biggest question mark entering this season and the safety net of Vokoun is, now, also in doubt.
How the team plans to handle this situation remains to be seen. As the folks at PensBurgh note, rumors have circulated about potential solutions, via PensBrugh:
[. . .] the Penguins were in talks with free agent goaltenders such as Jose Theodore and Johan Hedberg. There have been some even more frightening rumours that they could even be checking out Ilya Bryzgalov or Rick DiPietro. Either of them would likely come at a good discount since they are still being paid their buyout salary, but we would have to be exceptionally desperate to go after either of them. And of course the Penguins have Jeff Deslauriers who played for the WBS Baby Pens in 2006-07 attending their AHL training camp on a tryout deal.
Personally I am still in favor of giving Jeff Zatkoff a chance to fill in as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup until Vokoun is able to return.