Many eyes are already on Tomas Vokoun, who while not the highest-paid free agent signed this summer could have the greatest impact on the Capitals this season.
Going from a team trying to rebuild in Florida to a Stanley Cup contender in Washington is a change of pace for Vokoun, in multiple ways. Vokoun, 35, talked this past weekend about some of those differences and the reason he chose the Capitals.
“Hopefully I’m going to have the chance, which I didn’t have the last few years, which is to sit in that crease and some games and the score is 4-1 or 5-1,” Vokoun said. “I don’t have to worry every minute of every game. If it’s 1-1 or 2-1 and every mistake you make people tell you, ‘Oh, you give up bad goal then we lost.’ It’s kind of hard when every game is like that. Once in awhile you’re going to give up a bad goal.”
That’s not to say that Vokoun doesn’t understand the goals of his new team, though. That, he said, was made abundantly clear once he signed and that he wants the Capitals to use the regular season “to build a good foundation” heading into the playoffs.
Vokoun may have found himself in an unexpected situation as a free agent this summer, when there was surprisingly little demand for the top-level veteran netminder, but he’s grateful for an opportunity that he didn’t know if he would get at this stage in his life.
“For me, this is a chance I basically never had in my career,” Vokoun said. “And you never know, you may not get another one. So I’m gonna do everything I can to take advantage and not to waste it. I’m glad I’ve got the chance to play for team like this. I’m at the point in my career that I didn’t even think it would be possible anymore.”