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Penguins goalie Vokoun to miss 3-6 months

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 11:53 AM / News

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Penguins goalie Vokoun to miss 3-6 months
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who recently underwent surgery to dissolve a blood clot, will miss 3-6 months, general manager Ray Shero said Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who recently underwent surgery to dissolve a blood clot, will miss 3-6 months, general manager Ray Shero said Wednesday.

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Shero said the Penguins will re-evaulate Vokoun after three months and that he can remain active during that time period.

"Physically he's doing great. Mentally he's doing great, which is good news," Shero said. "(Vokoun) will be on blood thinning medicine. During this time he's OK to work out and do everything except play hockey. We'll evaluate this as we go along.

"The most important thing for Tomas and for us is his short-term health and long-term health. He's in good hands."

The loss of Vokoun, who became the starter for the Penguins during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs after Marc-Andre Fleury endured a rough first round against the New York Islanders, leaves the Penguins with rookie Jeff Zatkoff as the backup.

Vokoun went 13-4-0 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 20 games during the regular season. He won six of his first seven postseason appearances prior to the Penguins getting swept by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.

"Right now I'm not thinking about my career or playing hockey, I'm more worried about long-term health," Vokoun, 37, said. "I've gotten great care from the doctors and the team. Top professionals are giving me advice.

"I know where I stand. I'm going with the short term. Three months is a minimum. After that I'll evaluate where I am. The doctors will monitor my health and progress. Then I'll make my decision."

Shero said there are no plans to bring in another goalie at this time, despite Zatkoff having no prior NHL experience.

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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

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