Vokoun Selected To Play For Czech Republic At 2010 Winter Olympics
/ Florida Panthers
Tomas Vokoun will be making his second trip to the Olympics for the Czech Republic. He lead his country to a bronze medal in Torino in 2006. (Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers G Tomas Vokoun today was named to the Czech Republic’s hockey team that will compete in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the 2010 Winter Olympics, in mid-February.
"It's the biggest sports event in the world," said Vokoun of the Olympics, following practice at incredible ICE. "It's an honor to play for your own country."
"He's proven through his career that he's a world-class goaltender," said head coach Peter DeBoer. "It's a great compliment to him and his career.
"The nice thing about Tomas is this is a guy that wasn't handed anything...He's worked for everything he's got...He's worked for things and when guys that come from those types of backgrounds end up in the Olympics or succeed the way he has, you have a lot more respect for them because he's earned it."
Vokoun, 33, led the Czech Republic to the Bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The 11-year NHL veteran has recorded at least 25 wins in each of his last six seasons played (2002-09) and represented Florida at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game.
"(The) last time, it was really hectic," said Vokoun. "It was in Europe and there was a lot of traveling. This year it should be a lot better.
"Obviously being in Canada, it's going to be huge for hockey, being their national sport. I'm pretty sure it's going to get a lot of coverage, a lot of following, it's nice to be a part of it."
For his career in the National Hockey League, Vokoun has played in 542 games, posting 228-222-35-32 mark with 34 shutouts, while playing for Montreal (1996-97), Nashville (1998-2006) and Florida (2007-current). The Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic native played in his 500th NHL game on Mar. 7, 2009 vs. St. Louis and recorded the 200th win of his NHL career on Jan. 6, 2009 at Toronto.
On the international level, Vokoun led the Czech Republic to a Gold Medal at the 2005 World Championships in Austria and was honored with the Directorate’s Best Goaltender Award after posting a 7-1 mark in the tournament. He represented the Czech Republic at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, while also playing for his native country at the 2003 & 2004 World Championships.
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