As first reported by TSN’s Gord Miller and later confirmed by the team themselves, the Washington Capitals have signed free agent goaltender Tomas Vokoun to a one-year $1.5 million contract.
Vokoun, 35, was considered by many to be the top goaltender in this year’s free agent class after winning 22 games and compiling a 2.55 GAA and .922 save percentage for the Florida Panthers last season. The fact that the Capitals were able to bring him on board for the same amount that Jose Theodore is making next season is nothing short of absurd, for Vokoun is an established, and sometimes elite, NHL goalie. He will no doubt pressure Michal Neuvirth and help him develop as a player; the fact that they are both Czech will also help their relationship. This signing has three big benefits – the added stability, the mentoring of Neuvirth, and the fact that it allows Braden Holtby to spend a full year in the AHL, getting regular playing time.
With all of these positives, however, there is a red flag: Washington now has less that $600,000 of salary cap room to sign Karl Alzner and Troy Brouwer. It will be interesting, to say the least, to watch what comes down the pipe in the next week or so.
More on this if/when it becomes available.