Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/25/14 at 03:09 PM ET
I'm not sure where Tomas Vokoun will end up this summer, but the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno reports that Vokoun is something he hasn't been in a while now--healthy:
Severe blood clots took a full season away from Tomas Vokoun. The veteran goaltender hopes they didn’t end his NHL career.
Vokoun turns 38 next week, a day after he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Save for a minor-league rehab stint in April, he hasn’t played a meaningful game in over a year, but he’s fully healthy and hopes he can catch on as a backup somewhere.
“I don’t feel like I’ve missed a season, if that makes any sense,” Vokoun said in a phone interview last week from his home in South Florida. “I know what to do, I’ve played the game for 30 years. I played over 700 games in the NHL, I know mentally what I need to do.”
Mentally, Vokoun should still be sharp. He skated with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates for four months after getting off a blood thinner and being medically cleared to practise in late January into early February.
Physically, the Czech native said the syndrome that was contributing to an artery pushing on a vein – which doctors corrected by putting stents in – had “zero effects” on his lifestyle, even though the clots could have been life-threatening.
“As soon as they let me out of the hospital ... within a week I could’ve run, I could’ve lifted weights, I could’ve played tennis, I could’ve played soccer,” Vokoun said. “I could’ve done everything I wanted to. It wasn’t like I was on bed rest for two months and I have to start all over. I kept myself in shape.”
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