Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Entries with the tag: tomas vokoun

‘The best of what’s left’

Sportsnet's Luke Fox has been monitoring the fates of the "NHL's Top 10 Unrestricted Free Agents"--with an emphasis on those who remain on the marketplace--The Score's Thomas Drance has penned a list of 3 categories of "cheap free agent gambles that pay off year after year," and while general managers are most likely "at the lake" or golf course right now (World Junior Selection camps begin in August and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic kicks off the 2014-2015 scouting season), both Fox, Drance and ESPN's Craig Custance duly note that there are some bargains out there.

Said players tend to have to reduce their asking prices and may end up waiting until training camps begin to find their NHL homes, but the Devin Setoguchis, Tomas Vokouns, Dustin Penners, Daniel Winniks, etc. do tend to make significant impacts eventually...

And Custance's Insider-only entry leads off with a player who may or may not fit into the "best player who played outside of the NHL last season" category:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+winnik, david+booth, devin+setoguchi, dustin+penner, martin+brodeur, peter+mueller, tomas+vokoun

Tampa Bay keeps wheeling and dealing

As Paul noted, the Tampa Bay Lightning went and snagged Sam Gagner from the Edmonton Oilers for Teddy Purcell, sending Purcell's $4.5 million cap hit to Edmonton for Gagner's $4.8 million deal (all figures from Capgeek). Then the Bolts flipped Gagner to the Arizona Coyotes (who were likely looking to replace the behaviorally-challenged Mike Ribeiro), and shuffled B.J. Corombeen's $1.15 million salary off to Arizona as well, receiving all of a sixth-round draft pick in return.

Then, while some of you were sleeping, the Lightning made another trade, sending (per Sportsnet) Nate Thompson and his $1.6 million cap hit to Anaheim for a 6th-round pick.

The team did bring in Jason Garrison's $4.6 million cap hit during the first day of the draft, but it looks like the Lightning are trying to do something big, but ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that there be cap weirdness afoot:

This stuff happened so quickly that even Capgeek hasn't had a chance to catch up, but the Bolts have a little short of $9 million in cap space now. Who are they going after? Sportsnet's Chris Johnston believes it might be a familiar name...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+stralman, b.j.+crombeen, christian+ehrhoff, dan+boyle, dominic+moore, edmonton+oilers, jason+garrison, martin+brodeur, matt+niskanen, mattias+ohlund, phoenix+coyotes, sam+gagner, teddy+purcell, tim+thomas, tomas+vokoun

Tomas Vokoun hopes to re-start his NHL career soon

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.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Will Start Skating On Wednesday

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun With An Update On His Health

from Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com,

“In a month I’ll see the doctor and see more of what he thinks I should do,” Vokoun said in the BB&T Center Press Box Saturday night. “Then it’s up to me to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision. In six months it would be tough to come back before the season is over. We’ll see.”

Vokoun left practice Sept. 21 after he noticed swelling in his thigh. He was taken to the emergency room where a blood clot was diagnosed. Vokoun underwent a procedure to fix the problem. Since that time he’s been resting and recovering in his home in Florida.

“I feel great,” Vokoun said. “I’m still taking the medication, but I feel good. Hopefully everything is going well as far as I can tell.

“Once every two weeks I get my blood drawn and they check the level. That’s basically all I’m doing.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

The Morning After Skate

Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers
After defeating the Montreal Canadiens last night the Maple Leafs traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.
 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, colorado+avalanche, detroit+red+wings, jokerit, patrick+roy, pavel+datsyuk, phil+kessel, philadelphia+flyers, tomas+vokoun, toronto+maples+leafs

Penguins Announce Vokoun Out 3-6 Months

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

The Latest On Tomas Vokoun

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

The Pittsburgh Penguins won't know how long goaltender Tomas Vokoun will be out until he visits with his doctors early next week, general manager Ray Shero said Friday. Vokoun had emergency surgery last week because of a blood clot in his pelvis.

Vokoun's agent, Allan Walsh, wrote on his Twitter account Friday that the goalie is expected to start light workouts next week.

"I met with Tomas [Thursday] and we'll have more of an update probably next week," Shero told NHL.com. "Fortunately for him he dodged a bullet. Luckily he was at the rink and we got him to the hospital so the procedures went well. We'll just have to wait and see what the next steps are going to be and go from there. Our concerns are just with him and his health, but it was good to see him [Thursday]."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Tomas Vokoun Underwent Procedure Today To Dissolve A Blood Clot

 

Hoping the recovery goes well for Vokoun.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Fleury Or Vokoun?

From a fantasy point of view...

from Pete Jensen of NHL.com,

While everything seemed to come crashing down for Marc-Andre Fleury during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fantasy owners would be wise not to hold his postseason struggles against him when they're looking for goaltending this season.

Fleury got a vote of confidence from Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma in June, which indicates he'll be in position to reclaim the team's starting job. If that's the case, he certainly deserves top-15 consideration among fantasy goalies heading into 2013-14 -- despite the negative perception surrounding his value these days.

Didn't backup Tomas Vokoun clearly outplay Fleury in the playoffs? Doesn't the fact that Fleury has struggled in each of the past four postseasons hurt his fantasy value?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury, tomas+vokoun

Video- Vokoun Prepares To Play The Puck Behind The Net

Instead, the puck finds the back of the net.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+carlson, tomas+vokoun

Morning Line

“I knew exactly what I was signing myself up for. This wasn‘t about being the starting goalie or statistics. This was about the bigger picture. I wanted to come somewhere that had a winning environment. I probably had better individual opportunities with other teams, but this was the place for me. This is a place where you can win.”

-Tomas Vokoun of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  More on Vokoun from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Traded To Penguins, Then Signs With Penguins

via TSN,

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired goalie Tomas Vokoun from the Washington Capitals on Monday for a seventh-round draft pick and then signed the veteran to a two-year, $4 million contract.

The veteran goalie was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The 35-year-old was 25-17-2 last season with a 2.51 goals against average and a .917 save percentage in 48 appearances for Washington.

Vokoun became the odd man out in Washington with the emergence of Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth.

He is likely to become the back-up to starter Marc-Andre Fleury, which makes current back-up Brent Johnson expendable for the Penguins.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun A Fit In Toronto?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

On the day before he signed with the Washington Capitals last summer, a representative of Tomas Vokoun called the Maple Leafs and inquired about whether there was interest in the free-agent goaltender.

The Leafs said they had none.

Now, in fact, they have a different view. Vokoun is among the goaltenders the Leafs have targeted as they head towards the NHL draft and looming free agency.

And while it may not seem like the most ambitious of pursuits by the Leafs, it represents a nice, and relatively inexpensive Plan B, should the Leafs determine they can’t or won’t go after the very available Roberto Luongo.

continued plus a few hockey related points…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Morning Line

“The explanation from the doctor to me was that it’s like a concussion.  Somebody heals in months, somebody else [sooner], it all depends on how your body is reacting so you can’t predict. It’s not like saying ‘its two weeks and you’ll be fine.’ It’s when you feel good — that’s when you’re fine. That means you have to go through a full practice and do everything like in a game situation and I haven’t done anything close to that.”

-Tomas Vokoun, goaltender for the Washington Capitals, on his groin injury.  More on that topic from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun May Have Played His Last Game As A Capital

from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington,

It is entirely possible veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun has played his last game for the Capitals.

The groin injury suffered by Vokoun in Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Boston Bruins is worse than the one that sidelined him six straight games and likely will keep him out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, CSNwashington.com has learned.

Vokoun, 35, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Capitals last summer. In 48 games with the Capitals Vokoun went 25-17-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Has To Be Better

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

En route to a 5-2 loss in Ottawa on Wednesday night, Washington spotted the Senators a four-goal head start. After the defeat Coach Dale Hunter repeatedly placed blame on the shoulders of goaltender Tomas Vokoun, largely without prompting from reporters.

“They jumped on us. Tomas would like a few of them back,” Hunter said when first asked about the Capitals’ tendency to fall behind early in games. “He wasn’t as sharp as he should have been, and it’s in the back of our net.”

Asked directly if he believed the team’s bad start was indicative of Vokoun’s performance, Hunter didn’t mince his words.

“We need some big stops early that’s part of the game and tonight we played a good, solid road game and we lose,” he said. “Goaltending is a big part of the game and we need good goaltending.”...

Vokoun was not requested by reporters after the loss to Ottawa but his agent, Allan Walsh, commented on the matter via text message.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Morning Line

“I think a lot of guys here haven’t been through this as much as I’ve been.  We have a good team. We have to look at the standings and realize we can’t fall farther and farther back because it’s impossible to catch teams.

“This next week is huge for us. It’s desperate times, so we need to play desperate.”

-Tomas Vokoun, goaltender for the Washington Capitals.  More from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington as they prepare to meet the Panthers tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Will Not Face Former Team Tonight

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

In a bit of a surprise move, Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun will not start tonight in his return to South Florida. He played four seasons for the Panthers before signing in Washington in July.

“Those are the decisions Coach makes,” Vokoun said after the morning skate at BankAtlantic Center. “I’m a paid employee and I don’t make those kind of decisions. I’m a hockey player and I’m here to play games.”

Vokoun, whose wife and two young daughters still live in Ft. Lauderdale, said he was permitted by the Capitals to come down early on Sunday to visit with his family. He was also allowed to spend the night at his home instead of the team hotel….

“When they tell me I’m playing, I’m playing,” Vokoun said. “And when they tell me I’m not playing, I’m not playing.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

A Second Look at Goalies

image

In my previous preview of the top goalies, I had mentioned Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, and Ryan Miller as my top five options. Upon reflection and much debate, I discovered many other names that could be considered top 5 (or at least top 10). Many goalies are drafted in the early rounds of fantasy drafts, since top-notch starting goalies can be impossible to find on the waiver wire once the season starts. To help you find the right goalie(s), I have provided ten more goaltending options that could legitimately fall into the category of the NHL’s better starting goalies. And I promise that there will be no commercials while you read this.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi, cam+ward, carey+price, corey+crawford, fantasy+hockey, ilya+bryzgalov, jimmy+howard, jonathan+quick, marc-andre+fleury, martin+brodeur, the+goods, tomas+vokoun

The Case for Number One in Goal

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Determining a first overall pick in this year’s fantasy hockey drafts is anything but easy, but we probably know this much: the first overall pick won’t be a goalie. Yet a goalie is an important investment to fantasy hockey teams, since only two goalies can be responsible for four out of a team’s ten stat categories in many fantasy hockey leagues. The need for solid goaltending explains why many starting goalies can fly off the board early in fantasy hockey drafts.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price, cory+schneider, fantasy+hockey, goalies, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+bryzgalov, jose+theodore, martin+brodeur, nikolai+khabibulin, pekka+rinne, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, sergei+bobrovsky, steve+mason, tim+thomas, tomas+vokoun, tuukka+rask

Vokoun Became Pro-Active

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

After the first day of free agency passed and Vokoun remained unsigned, his agent contacted the Capitals with an offer McPhee couldn’t ignore.

“We were told early yesterday that Tomas Vokoun wanted to play on a top team and that he would forgo a big deal to do it,” McPhee explained in a conference call Sunday.

The Capitals signed Vokoun to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, considerably less than what many predicted for a netminder who’s tied for the best save percentage in the league since 2005-06.

“The money side, it’s not great, but I think the opportunity is unbelievable,” Vokoun said in a conference call with reporters. “Obviously it was disappointing day for me on July 1. For whatever reason I was in a bad spot, and Washington came in.”

more

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  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun And Panthers May Go In Different Directions

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

The Panthers GM said the Panthers could come to a deal with Vokoun before July 1.

Again, I would doubt it. Remember that Vokoun has never been a free agent before. This is his last chance for a big contract. He’s going to weigh his many options. Of course, the best option could be with the Panthers.

Mike Santos told me last week that the Panthers would like to have something done on this front before July 1 when Vokoun is free to sign with anyone.

Why? Because once July 1 hits, the Panthers are going to start looking elsewhere.

more

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  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Will Kaberle Stick in Boston?

From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News:

At this stage it’s too early to tell how contract talks will go between Kaberle and the Bruins as he’s still settling in with the team.

He might be tempted to test the summer’s free agent market, where he’d be among the few notable stars available and thus could earn top dollar. It’s believed Kaberle would prefer to remain in the Eastern Conference and, if he enjoys playing in Boston, would consider a longer term for perhaps less money than he’d fetch in free agency.

read on for more on Kaberle and Vokoun’s future in Florida

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle, tomas+vokoun

Will The Panthers Look For A New Goalie Too?

from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald,

The Panthers kept goaltender Tomas Vokoun past the trade deadline. Now, with unrestricted free agency approaching, the question is how much they want to keep him beyond this season.

Vokoun, who has a no-trade clause, said he told the Panthers there were three teams he would have been willing to accept a trade to, but Florida never came to him with any proposal before Monday’s deadline.

“You want to play in the playoffs,” he said. “In a way, it is a little bit disappointing. But I like being here, too. It’s not like I asked to leave. I told them I’d like to stay.”

After initially expressing interest in extending his contract, the Panthers announced last month they would not offer any new contracts until the season ends.

continued

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  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Southeast Tonight: Three Games on the Schedule

A look around at the Southeast Division teams in action tonight:

Atlanta at Buffalo
If Rick Dudley is deciding between buyer and seller mode, this might just be the game to shove him swiftly in one direction or the other.

Atlanta has been in a tailspin in the new year, with just three regulation wins since we said farewell to 2010. Currently, the Thrashers have lost seven out of their last eight and are just 2-10-4 in their last 16.

They sit five points behind eighth place Carolina and are tied, points-wise, with tonight’s opponent, though their meeting with Buffalo becomes is that much more pivotal with the Sabres having two games in hand on Atlanta.

New faces Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, acquired last week from Boston, will each play in their second game as a Thrasher tonight. Both made an impact in their Atlanta debut in Edmonton Sunday, despite the team’s 5-3 loss, with Wheeler assisting on an Andrew Ladd tally and Stuart scrapping with J-F Jacques in the second period.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler, dan+ellis, dustin+byfuglien, dwayne+roloson, eric+brewer, mark+stuart, tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Doesn’t Want To Sit

from Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel,

In a surprise move, Florida Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said that backup goalie Scott Clemmensen will start Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.

Starting goalie Tomas Vokoun was stunned by the news because he is coming off a 4-3 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals and had a day off.

When asked if he was surprised by the move, Vokoun said, “Absolutely.”

“I’m very surprised,” he added. “I got an explanation but didn’t agree with it. My job is to play. The coach is there to make the decisions. I’m here to obey them whether I like it or not. It’s not very usual for a goalie after you win a game. I personally didn’t think I played a bad game. It seemed like he had a different assessment.”

a bit more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Past the Quarter Poll: Southeast Division Team Ratings from JJ

We’re past the quarter pole, so maybe this is a bit late but it still seems like a good time to me to hand out some assessments to all five Southeast Division clubs. Besides, what’s this quarter pole anyway? Divide the NHL season in equal fours and the resting #StamkosMath calculator tells me that we’d have to stop things at the ten-minute mark of each team’s 21st game of the year to truly be one quarter of the way through. And that just seems troubling.

We’ll go with JJ Ratings rather than the standard report cards because one, everyone else seems to do the report card thing and two, handing out school-type grades gives me terrible nightmares. (Trust me.) Instead, each club’s JJ Rating will reflect their performance on a scale of one to ten (and, since I’ve become a big fan of complicating things, we’ll allow for partial points as well).

Here we are, anywhere from 26-29 games into the 2010-11 slate for the Southeast squads – as good a time as any (maybe just because I say so) to see where we are versus where we thought we’d be, as well as where we might be headed.

We’ll tackle this alphabetically (Ooh… Suspense!)

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, david+booth, dustin+byfuglien, eric+staal, jeff+skinner, martin+st.+louis, mike+green, ondrej+pavelec, steven+stamkos, tomas+vokoun

Around the Southeast this Weekend

A quick look at what’s happening (and what’s happened) with all five Southeast Division clubs as we head into the weekend:

We’ll go top to bottom:

Tampa Bay
1st place, 6-2-1 (13 points)
By and large, folks have been impressed with the Bolts thus far. As I wrote on Wednesday night, all six of their wins have differed significantly from one another and, though it is extremely early, that is a distinctive mark of a good team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+little, david+booth, jeff+skinner, mattias+ohlund, michal+neuvirth, nik+antropov, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, tomas+vokoun

JJ’s Three Cheers: 10/15/10, Plus a Look Around the Southeast this Weekend

Today’s three cheers, bestowed upon those who excelled for their clubs in action yesterday:

***Cheers to Nashville’s Steve Sullivan, who had a pair of the three first period goals for his club, en route to a 4-3 Predators win. Sullivan had a chance to complete the rare single stanza hat trick in the waning seconds of the first but was denied on a breakaway by Jaroslav Halak in the St. Louis net.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: bobby+ryan, corey+perry, dan+ellis, dominic+moore, eric+staal, mike+fisher, mikko+koivu, ondrej+pavelec, pavel+kubina, radek+dvorak, ryan+getzlaf, sergei+samsonov, shawn+matthias, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+sullivan, steven+stamkos, tomas+vokoun

JJ’s Three Cheers: 10/12/10

Today’s three cheers, saluting those who deserve as much for their performances yesterday:

***Cheers to Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, whose 41 saves thwarted the efforts of his former club, the Florida Panthers en route to the first win of the season for the Canucks. Luongo’s .973 save percentage through his club’s first two games is hardly anything to scoff at and his quick start is a great sign for a Canucks team with extremely high hopes for the season. As for Florida, 42 shots on goal are great but three goals through two games won’t get the job done and that sort of paltry offensive production could be exactly what keeps the Panthers from succeeding this season. Tomas Vokoun can only keep opponents at bay to a certain extent.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+comeau, darroll+powe, james+wisniewski, jeff+carter, john+tavares, josh+bailey, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, roberto+luongo, tomas+vokoun

The Bolts Beat, 09/27/10: The Gang Talks Preseason Games, Cuts, Suspensions, Fantasy Hockey & More

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran cover the Lightning’s recent preseason road trip, roster moves made thereafter, NHL discipline issues (including the recent Nick Boynton/Blair Jones incident), predictions for how Tampa Bay’s final roster may end up, fantasy hockey strategy and Jon (of course) continues his New York Jets elation, much to the dismay of Mike and fellow contributor, Tampa Bay Lightning.com’s Mark Pukalo.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+hall, alexander+ovechkin, blair+jones, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dana+tyrell, dennis+wideman, derek+boogaard, eric+perrin, fantasy+hockey, james+wright, johan+harju, john+tavares, marek+malik, mark+streit, nick+boynton, niklas+persson, rick+dipietro, roster+cuts, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steven+stamkos, suspensions, tomas+vokoun, training+camp, vincent+lecavalier, wade+redden, zenon+konopka

Facing a Decade Without the Playoffs, Florida’s Rebuild Goes On and On

Futility in Sunrise has persisted for far too long, with the Florida Panthers on the brink of a dubious record after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons. Incoming general manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly in putting his stamp on the team with several transactions since taking over, but nothing to this point appears bold enough to turn his club from last season’s Southeast Division cellar dwellers into a postseason participant.

Sadly, more patience may be in order for long-suffering Panthers fans.

Even so, all is not lost for the NHL’s southernmost franchise, with several key pieces already in place for the future (and others right around the corner) and it isn’t as though the current roster is without talent as is. Still, a couple of major stumbling points remain for the Panthers. The 24 games they will play versus fellow Southeast clubs, three of whom look to be vastly improved and the fourth being the stalwart Washington Capitals, certainly won’t help and the expiring contracts for defenseman Bryan McCabe and goaltender Tomas Vokoun will have to be dealt with (and quite possibly dealt altogether), without either situation becoming a distraction.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+peters, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, chris+higgins, dale+tallon, david+booth, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, gregory+campbell, jacob+markstrom, jason+garrison, kamil+kreps, keith+ballard, marty+reasoner, michael+grabner, michael+repik, nathan+horton, nathan+paetsch, scott+clemmensen, shawn+matthias, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, tomas+vokoun

Raw Charge’s Five Questions for JJ

The staff at SB Nation’s Raw Charge finishes up their Five Questions, Five Answers series today with my responses to their Southeast Division inquries.

Check out the entire piece here, as well as the previous two installments, featuring my The Bolts Beat co-host, Mike Corcoran and Pete Choquette from Bolt Prospects.

As I touched on in closing out this interview, this division as a whole is on the upswing, making the timing of my expanded coverage even more exciting.

Enjoy the Q&A here… And, please, pay my friends at Raw Charge a well-deserved visit.

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Panthers Have No Plans To Shop Vokoun

from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon isn’t looking to trade goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Tallon called Vokoun on Monday night and assured him of that.

“He likes me, and he has no interest in shopping me or trading me unless there’s a great deal that would make sense,” Vokoun told the Sun Sentinel.

“Obviously, everybody’s tradable. He said if it was best for the future of the organization, he would have to do it. But from what I understand, he wants me around.”

continued

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Morning Line

If Vokoun hits the trade block the Philadelphia Flyers would be amongst those very interested but they’ll have to move the equivalent of Vokoun’s $5.7 million cap hit for next season to comfortably fit him under their cap, plus would have to ensure they have sufficient cap space to re-sign him to a long-term extension.

-Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey.  More rumor talk from Lyle.

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Bad Goal Of The Night

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Netminders have obviously allowed goals from center ice or beyond before, as Vokoun did on Radim Vrbata’s( meek shot; but rarely are those goals allowed with 59.7 seconds left in the game and with that goalie’s team clinging to a one-goal lead.

read on

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Vokoun’s Focus Is With His Current Team

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The latest team linked to Tomas Vokoun in NHL trade rumors is the Chicago Blackhawks.

Although one NHL source told ESPN.com on Friday not to discount that rumor completely, another source said the complete opposite.

Just another day for Vokoun, who has been bandied about all over the Internet trade rumor mill.

“I did read some stuff,” Vokoun said Friday night after his Czech team’s 5-2 win over Latvia. “I follow hockey closely, it comes across. But I haven’t been approached [to waive his no-move clause] by anybody from Florida or anything like that, so until I hear otherwise, I’m just going to treat it as rumors. Right now, I’m playing for Florida and that’s where my focus is.”

continued

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Strange Night In The NHL

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Although the NHL rulebook does not specifically stipulate a fine or suspension for kneeing, supplementary discipline can be applied at the discretion of the commissioner.

And you’d have to think that’s exactly what will happen, given that Georges Laraque of the Montreal Canadiens recently received a five-game suspension for his knee-on-knee hit that injured Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. One big difference was that Gleason came back to play the rest of the game (Kronwall’s out for at least a month), while Ovechkin looked to take the worse of the hit, leaving the game and not returning.

Ovechkin also received a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding last week when he drilled Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres head-first into the boards. Ovechkin did not receive supplementary discipline for that hit, but likely won’t be that lucky this time around.

Although NHL vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell would not say whether Ovechkin will face a hearing, he did say that Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard will not be suspended for hitting his own goalie, Tomas Vokoun, with a two-handed baseball swing in the Panthers 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers.

“It will be on every sports highlight show for the next week,” Campbell said. “If that’s not enough of a punishment…”

more Ovechkin and Vokoun talk…

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  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Hit In Head By Stick Of Teammate Ballard

via the CP at TSN,

Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was accidentally hit in the head by the stick of teammate Keith Ballard in the opening period of Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Vokoun had a laceration to his ear but was alert when he was placed in an ambulance and taken to a local hospital, a Panthers spokesman said.

The incident occurred after Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal at 8:54 of the first period, knocking in his own rebound. In apparent frustration, Ballard swung his stick at the net, inadvertently striking Vokoun in the head.

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  Tags: keith+ballard, tomas+vokoun

Is Vokoun A Proven Goaltender?

from Jay Feaster at The Hockey News,

Shortly after the 2006-07 season ended in another first-round playoff exit for the Tampa Bay Lightning, I began receiving calls from Predators GM David Poile offering to solve our goaltending problem by trading Tomas Vokoun to us.

Poile had been told to slash payroll and was looking to move high-dollar contracts. He suggested that our cross-state rival, the Florida Panthers, might also be in the hunt for a No. 1 goalie and if we didn’t make the move we could find ourselves facing Vokoun six or eight times a year in our division.

While we had goaltending problems in Tampa at the time, we were not interested in Vokoun. Our pro scouts were not sold on Vokoun’s ability to win a championship and thrive under big-game pressure and his contract was too rich for us, both in real dollars and available cap space.

continued

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Vokoun Defends His Play From Last Season

from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

Tomas Vokoun acknowledges he needs to be better early in the season. It’s the main reason the Florida Panthers goalie was on the ice in late July long before teammates arrived.

But Vokoun is a bit perplexed by some people’s perception that he didn’t play well at all last season.

“You know what? People make such a big deal. There were a couple, few parts I didn’t play and [Craig Anderson] played, but Andy played great. He totally deserved his playing time,” Vokoun said.

“I finished second in save percentage in the league. I can tell you, if that’s the case this year, I’ll take it right now. . . . As goalies, we both did very well. I think it was the strength of our team. That’s my opinion. Some people may have a different one.”

continued

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Save Of The Night

Tomas Vokoun of the Panthers with a great glove save on Thomas Vanek of the Sabres.  Buffalo did defeat Florida 3-1.

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A 14 Hour Trip To Practice

from Dave Joseph at FloridaPanthers.com,

Unable to fly due to an ear infection, Vokoun was joined by strength and conditioning coach Andy O’Brien and head athletic trainer Dave Zenobi while driving the approximate 640 miles between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

Due to a winter storm dumping snow along the east cost, the trip, which began Sunday after the Panthers 6-2 victory in Washington, took 14 hours and was spread over two days.

After covering only 200 miles in six hours Sunday evening, the three decided to rest in Oxford, N.C., before driving the remaining distance Monday morning. Vokoun was in Atlanta by early afternoon and was practicing with some of his teammates at 2:30 p.m.

“I felt pretty good,” said Vokoun of his Monday practice. “You know, I haven’t played in a little time. I haven’t done too much the last four days. I felt terrible at first (in practice) but I knew I would improve.”

read on

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Move Tomas Vokoun Now

from John Grigg of the Hockey News,

He’s a top-10 goalie having a down season on a bad team. Over the past three seasons, he’s averaged 31 wins, a 2.60 GAA, .919 save percentage and four shutouts. No goalie averaging 50-plus games played over that period has a better save percentage than Vokoun. To put it simply, he’s good and a number of teams will likely fall all over themselves for a shot at acquiring him.

The Panthers have little to play for over the next few years. Their future is not now and once other goalies begin to be traded, Vokoun loses value as an asset. So as Denis Lemieux might say, “Trade heem right #$@*~!& now!”

more

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New Season For Panthers

from Dave Joseph at FloridaPanthers.com,

Vokoun, who has always worn his heart on his sleeve, enters the season more comfortable. He’s settled with his family in Florida, he feels optimistic about the team’s direction, and, more importantly, he returns for his second season with the Panthers looking at a new and improved blue line.

In fact, some consider the Panthers’ blue line to now be one of the elite in the league. Start with Jay Bouwmeester and Bryan Allen, a healthy Noah Welch and Cory Murphy, iron man Karlis Skrastins, and add veterans Keith Ballard, Bryan McCabe and Nick Boynton.

“We’ve definitely improved,” Vokoun said.

read on

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Stars of the Week

From NHL.com:

NEW YORK—Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Petr Sykora and Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending March 16.

 

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Goalie Talk

from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,

Olaf Kolzig turns 38 the week the playoffs begin, and the longtime Washington Capitals stopper is finally showing his age. Among the 45 goalies who have appeared in at least 20 games this season, Kolzig ranks dead last – 45th – in save percentage, at .884. His 3.07 goals-against average is also near the bottom of the league.

While Kolzig’s stats suffer somewhat due to a still inexperienced defense corps in front of him, the truth is, he’s played far better with far worse bluelines in past years.

more and some Nabokov & Vokoun talk too….

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  Tags: evgeni+nabokov, olaf+kolzig, tomas+vokoun

Right Advantage

from Adam Schwartz of NHL.com,

Here is a hockey fact you might not have thought about. Only seven NHL goalies catch with their right hand.

To Tomas Vokoun, one of the lefties, the difference gives him an edge, a slight one to be sure, but an edge nonetheless. And we all know how goalies love those advantages, however small.

“It’s a little bit easier for me to stop left-handed shots and most of the players in the NHL have left-handed shots,” said Vokoun, the Florida Panthers’ top goalie. “Although, I don’t think it’s a significant advantage. I don’t think a goalie that catches with his right hand has a significant advantage.”

continued

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  Tags: tomas+vokoun

Vokoun Not In the Net

A few Panthers had some fun today at practice…

from On Frozen Pond,

In net: Jozef Stumpel. On offense: Tomas Vokoun.

While Vokoun and Stumpel traded equipment and assignments, Rostislav Olesz kept feeding the puck and trying to get shots past Stumpel. Vokoun also tried defending Olesz on a breakaway, one time flipping on Olesz’s first move. Fun stuff after a pretty hard practice.

more

Watch the video…

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