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Caps ink Vokoun

Saturday, 07.02.2011 / 6:17 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

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Caps ink Vokoun
Tomas Vokoun has a new home as he signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Tomas Vokoun has a new home.

Widely regarded as the premier goaltender available on the market after Ilya Bryzgalov signed with Philadelphia last week, Vokoun signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Numerous reports indicate Vokoun will be paid $1.5 million.

"We are excited to add an elite veteran goaltender to the Capitals," GM George McPhee said. "We now have a nice blend of talent, depth, experience and youth in the goaltending position."

The 35-year-old is coming off another solid season with the Florida Panthers, going 22-28-5 with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. His save percentage has been .919 or higher in each of the last six seasons. Vokoun has the second-best save percentage (.923) among the 15 NHL goaltenders who have made at least 5,000 saves in the past four years.

In Washington, Vokoun will likely team with fellow Czech Michal Neuvirth, who saw most of the playing time in 2010-11. Rookie Braden Holtby will also be battling for playing time. Washington traded its other young goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, to Colorado on Friday for first- and second-round draft picks.

"I'm very excited to join the Washington Capitals organization," Vokoun said. "It is a terrific team with a lot of talent and I look forward to doing everything I can for us to reach our ultimate goal in winning the Stanley Cup."
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[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday