Vokoun signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million Saturday, adding some veteran insurance to a team that appeared ready to cast its lot with youngsters Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby in its push for the Stanley Cup.
Capitals general manager George McPhee had indicated on Friday that he would be content to let the 23-year-old Neuvirth and the 21-year-old Holtby battle for the starting job next season. Washington traded its other up-and-coming goalie, Semyon Varlamov, to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.
But Vokoun’s contract is a relative bargain, especially for a two-time All-Star who has played 13 NHL seasons.
“We are excited to add an elite veteran goaltender to the Capitals,” McPhee said in a statement. “We now have a nice blend of talent, depth, experience and youth in the goaltending position.”
Vokoun, 34, has played for Montreal, Nashville and Florida, spending the last four seasons with the Panthers. He was 22-28-5 with a 2.55 goals-against average in 57 games last season and is tied for the best save percentage (.922) in the NHL since the 2005-06 season
He also led the Czech national team to a gold medal at the 2010 world championships and has represented his county twice at the Olympics.