Report: Tomas Vokoun to Join the New Lokomotiv Squad

Photo credit: Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times

Tomas Vokoun, who was sidelined with an injury during the playoffs, announced at Kettler Monday that he will not be back next season. The Veteran Czech netminder, who signed with the Capitals last July to a one-year deal at the surprisingly low rate of $1.5 million, is rumored to join the new Lokomotiv squad.

As per the Czech website iSport.cz:

Behind the hockey scenes, there are talks that he [Vokoun] will be a goaltender for the Yaroslavl [Lokomotiv] in Russia!

[...]

Sport talked to a few scouts and players in Russia, and all of them confirmed: “We heard about it”. Some even added: “That’s a sure thing”.

If Vokoun joins Lokomotiv, that will make a lot of sense. He lost one of his best friends, former Hurricane Josef Vasicek, in the Yaroslavl tragedy last September. There were three Czechs on the team: Vasicek, Jan Marek and Karel Rachunek.

Vokoun told Washinton Times’ Stephen Whyno in October:

“I consider Josef’s family like my family. It was so hard to see his parents and obviously his girlfriend and everybody,” Vokoun said, speaking about the crash publicly for the first time. “Such a tragedy when somebody dies like that and they’re 30 years old, full of life. He was supposed to be getting married and all that, so it’s not an easy thing to understand.”

Lokomotiv is putting together quite a roster. Among the players who have signed with them are Latvian star forward Mikelis Redlihs; one of the KHL’s best defensemen, former Caps prospect Staffan Kronwall; former Cap Viktor Kozlov as well as another player with NHL pedigree: defenseman Vitaly Vishnevsky.

Tomas Vokoun will be backed up by another veteran goalie, Vitaly Kolesnik. Despite both Kolesnik and Vokoun being considered foreign players (foreign goalie can’t play more than 2/3 of the playing time), Lokomotiv, who has a discount when it comes to the total number of the foreign players, will probably get an exception here as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryantpthomas Bryant Thomas

    Hell of a tribute if that’s what it is. I never had a problem with the guy. Good for him, I hope they don’t shaft him like they do with a lot of players though.

  • Darla Doxstater

    Thank you for your service to the Caps, Tomas, and best wishes to you!

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    I wish nothing but the best for Vokoun. What an honorable tribute. I have wondered throughout the season if the loss of Josef had anything to do with his lack of focus this season. That isn’t meant as a dig against him. He was so pumped up in July but there was a big change when he took the ice in October. It’s very understandable.

  • serpent

    wow. All the best for you, Tomas. I really enjoyed watching you play for us and hope you have a wonderful career with Locomotiv. Thay are getting a super nice person!

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