Panthers in Contract talks with Tomas Vokoun
It seems as though the Florida Panthers are interested in keeping goaltender Tomas Vokoun around after this season is over.
According to the Florida Sun Sentinel, the Panthers are in talks with their number one goaltender to extend his contract beyond this season.
“He’s not definitely gone,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told the Sun Sentinel. “We talked to his agent and while they expressed an interest in staying, we’ve expressed an interest in keeping him, if the offer makes sense.”
The 34-year old Vokoun, a native of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic is in the final year of his current 4-year contract signed back in 2006 when he was a part of the Nashville Predators organization. The Panthers acquired Vokoun in 2007 in a trade which saw Florida send a 2nd round pick in 2007, a 1st round pick in 2008 along with a conditional 2nd round selection in either 2007 or 2008 to Nashville, for the goaltender.
Should contract talks fall through and the Panthers remain out of the playoff hunt, Vokoun could be dealt before the trade deadline on Feb 28. However, he has a no-move clause in his contract but his 5.7 million cap hit may be a bigger roadblock to being dealt.
“We’ve had ongoing discussions with Florida about a potential extension,’ Vokoun’s agent, Michael Deutsch told the Sun Sentinel. “Conversations are continuing, and we’ll see where they go.”
Clearly, memories of 2009 ring in the heads of many Panthers fans, memories of when then GM Jacques Martin waited too long to pull the trigger to move the face of the franchise in Jay Bouwmeester. By doing so, he received very little in return for him when he was moved right before the 2009 NHL Free Agency Frenzy.
This season, Vokoun has a 2.56 goals against average, and a save percentage of .922 while facing 1,000 shots this season, the sixth-highest total in the league.
In his four seasons with Florida, Vokoun has a record of 95-95-26, a goals against average of 2.57 and a save percentage of .923, on a Panthers team that has not made the playoffs since 1997.