Vokoun, 34, was widely regarded as the top free agent goalie available this offseason and adds a veteran presence to the Capitals’ young pair of netminders. While it’s unclear if Vokoun and 23-year-old incumbent Michal Neuvirth will battle for the starting job, the move likely means that Braden Holtby, 21, will have more time to develop at the AHL level with the Hershey Bears.
Vokoun played 57 games for the Florida Panthers in 2010-11, posting a record of 22-28-5 with a 2.55 goals against average. While the Czech netminder has spent 13 seasons between the Panthers, Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens, he’s only played in five career playoff contests, going 1-4 with Nashville in the 2006-07 quarterfinals.
"He’s been on teams with no chance to win for a very long time," Vokoun's agent, Michael Deutsch, said. "The opportunity to compete for a Stanley Cup means a great deal to him."
The signing comes a day after General Manager George McPhee shipped disgruntled goalie Semyon Varlamov to Colorado for two draft picks. Later Friday, McPhee had made it sound as though the team was prepared to go with its two young talents in net.
“Let's let these two guys go at it, share the responsibility and see how they do,” McPhee said of Neuvirth and Holtby. “The way [Holtby] was playing at the end of last year, he might have been our best guy this year. What's interesting is at the deadline last year, he was guy people were asking about.”
In more minor news, forward Andrew Gordon has signed a one year, two-way deal with the Ducks.