|St. Louis Blues center Keith Tkachuk attempts a shot against Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun, during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 7, 2009, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers G Tomas Vokoun reached an NHL milestone tonight, playing in his 500th career National Hockey League game. He becomes the 53rd goalie to accomplish this feat and just the seventh active goalie to reach this milestone joining Martin Brodeur, Curtis Joseph, Olaf Kolzig, Chris Osgood, Nikolai Khabibulin and Roberto Luongo.
Entering this evening, Vokoun, 32, has posted a 212-205-35-36 mark with a 2.56 GAA and a .915 save percentage with 31 shutouts, while playing for Montreal (1996-97), Nashville (1998-2006) and Florida (2007-current). Vokoun recorded the 200th win of his NHL career on Jan. 6 in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and has set a career high this season with six shutouts. He has recorded at least 25 wins in each of his last five seasons (2002-08) and represented Florida at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game.
Vokoun, 32, made his NHL debut on Feb. 6, 1997 at Philadelphia as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. He appeared in his 250th NHL game on Jan. 24, 2004 in Edmonton as a member of the Nashville Predators. He was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens with their 11th choice (226th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
The National Hockey League recognizes a goaltender’s 500th game as a major milestone achievement, as it does for a skater’s 1,000th game played. Vokoun will be honored by the NHL, as well as the Florida Panthers, with a special pre-game presentation prior to the game on Saturday, Mar. 14 when Florida hosts Tampa Bay.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Home to more than 200 events annually and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BankAtlantic Center was a finalist for Arena of the Year in annual awards given by trade publication Pollstar. The BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year and is also the home of Sawgrass Live presented by BankAtlantic.