|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
195 lb (89 kg)
|Born||July 2, 1976,|
Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia
|NHL Draft||226th overall, 1994|
|Pro Career||1995 – present|
Tomáš Vokoun (Czech pronunciation: [ˈtomaːʃ ˈvokou̯n]; born July 2, 1976) is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently playing for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Playing career[edit | edit source]
Vokoun moved to North America for the 1995–96 season and played for the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. He was called up to the Fredericton Canadiens of the American Hockey League (AHL) and played one playoff game. Having proven himself in the ECHL, Vokoun spent the 1996–97 season in Fredericton and played in his first game for Montreal; it was not a stellar debut as he allowed four goals in only twenty minutes of play Against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vokoun played 37 games for Nashville in their debut season and played nine games for the Milwaukee Admirals in the International Hockey League (IHL). Although he again split time between the two clubs the following season, by 2000, Vokoun was in the NHL to stay. However, he saw only limited action as the back-up to Mike Dunham. In 2002, Dunham was traded to the New York Rangers for Marek Židlický, Tomáš Klouček and Rem Murray, and Vokoun was awarded the starting job.
Vokoun acquitted himself well when given the chance to start, and he shouldered a heavy load for the Predators. His play was good enough in 2003-04 to send him to the All-Star Game for the first time. Possibly more important to Vokoun, though, was the chance to go to the playoffs, and the Predators earned their first trip in 2004. Although the Predators lost in six games to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs, they surprised many by giving the Red Wings more of a challenge than expected. In games three and four, both played in Nashville, Vokoun awed spectators with his performance netting the first-ever playoff shutout in franchise history by stopping 41 Red Wing shots.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Vokoun played 19 regular season games for HIFK in the Finnish SM-liiga, posting a .940 save percentage. In the playoffs, Vokoun did not perform as well, posting an .846 save percentage in four games—the worst in the league in that year's playoffs.
Nevertheless, Vokoun had by then emerged as one of the world's elite goaltenders. His picture was placed on the cover of Nashville's city directory, testifying to is popularity in the non-traditional hockey market. Furthermore, as a fan favorite, during home games at the Sommet Center, when he made a save, the Predators fans in attendance routinely responded with a loud chant of "VOO-KOOOON!".
On April 10, 2006, the Predators announced that Vokoun was afflicted by thrombophlebitis of the pelvis, a blood-clotting condition. He missed the team's remaining regular season games and the entire playoffs while he recovered by taking blood-thinning drugs and avoiding physical activity.  Back-up goalie Chris Mason took his place as the starter, but the Predators failed to advance in the playoffs, again losing the quarterfinals. On July 24, 2006, Vokoun was cleared to resume his career and returned for the 2006–07 NHL season.  However, at the beginning of the season, Vokoun hurt his thumb during a game and had to have surgery. Pins were put in this thumb, and he played with the pins and a brace on his thumb.
On the day of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Vokoun was traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, a second-round selection in the 2007 draft (no. 58) and a conditional second-round selection in either 2007 or 2008.
Vokoun was selected to play for the Eastern Conference team in the 2008 NHL All Star Game in Atlanta.
During the 2008–09 NHL season, Vokoun recorded 26 wins for the Panthers as they battled for their first playoff berth since 2000. Though they ultimately fell short, the Panthers' being in position to qualify was due in large part to the goaltending of Vokoun and fellow goaltender Craig Anderson.
Vokoun was injured by teammate Keith Ballard in a game on Monday, November 30, 2009, when Ballard hit Vokoun with an errant stick in the head. Vokoun was carried off the ice on a stretcher and was treated at a nearby hospital for an ear laceration. Vokoun had just given up a goal to Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers and Ballard went to break his stick on the goal post in frustration, but caught Vokoun instead.
Vokoun signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals on July 2, 2011, for $1.5 million.
International play[edit | edit source]
|Men's ice hockey - Competitor for the Czech Republic|
|Bronze||2006 Turin||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2005 Vienna||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2010 Cologne||Ice hockey|
Vokoun has represented the Czech Republic many times over the course of his playing career. His first international experience came with the under-20 team at the 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, where the Czechs finished in 4th place. His first senior experience came at the 2003 IIHF World Championship, where the Czechs again finished in 4th place. Overall he has played for the Czechs at four IIHF World Championships, two Winter Olympics Games and also in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He backstopped the Czechs to a 3rd place finish at the World Cup, gold medals at the 2005 and 2010 World Championships, and won bronze with the team at the 2006 Olympics.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Tomas Vokoun currently resides with his wife, Dagmar, and two daughters Adelle and Natalie in Parkland, Florida.
Awards and records[edit | edit source]
- Runner-up for the NHL Rookie of the Month award for December 1998.
- NHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 2, 2000 (3–0–0, 1 shutout, 1.33 goals against average (GAA), .960 save percentage; he was the first Predator to ever win this award).
- NHL Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending November 30, 2003 (4–0–0, 1.50 GAA, .950 save percentage).
- Selected to play for the Western Conference in the 2004 NHL All-Star Game.
- Selected to play for the Eastern Conference in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game.
- NHL Defensive Player of the Month for January 2010 (NHL's Third Star of the Month, 8-4-2, 1.49 GAA, .956 SV%, 4 SO).
Each of the below records are current as of the end of the 2009–10 NHL season.
- Nashville Predators franchise single-season record for wins (36)
- Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for wins (161)
- Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for losses (159)
- Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for goaltender appearances (383)
- Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for shutouts (21)
- Nashville Predators franchise all-time record for saves (9,657)
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season[edit | edit source]
|2004–05||HC Znojemsti Orli Znojmo||Czech||27||10||14||3||0||1599||69||3||2.59||.927|
Postseason[edit | edit source]
International[edit | edit source]
|World Championship Totals||29||23||4||1||1754||43||736||5||1.46||.942|
|Senior International Totals||46||31||12||1||2704||81||1138||6||1.80||.929|
References[edit | edit source]
- Washington signs Vokoun to one-year, $1.5 million contract. The Sports Network. Retrieved on 2 July 2011.
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