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Capitals trade goaltender Vokoun to Penguins

Washington Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun (29) stops a shot by the Florida Panthers in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Friday, Feb. 17, 2012.

Associated Press

Marc-Andre Fleury won't be going at it alone anymore.

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired veteran netminder Tomas Vokoun on Monday, sending a seventh round pick to the Washington Capitals for the rights to the pending unrestricted free agent.

Vokoun, who was not going back to the Capitals after an injury plagued season, had been given permission to talk to other teams and had several willing to offer a multiyear deal.

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In the end, the allure of going to a team loaded with offensive talent won out, and Vokoun signed a two year contract for $2-million a season.

The deal is a good one for the Penguins, as for reasonable money, they get a solid backup who can serve as an insurance policy in case Fleury again struggles as he did in Round 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers this season.

Vokoun is tied with Pekka Rinne with the fourth best save percentage since the lockout (.921), behind only Cory Schneider, Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas among goalies with 50 games played.

He was set to become a free agent on July 1, one day before his 36th birthday, but opted to avoid free agency after missing out on a big payday a year ago. (He signed a one-year, $1.5-million deal with the Capitals a day after free agency opened in 2011.)

The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the teams interested in Vokoun but weren't willing to commit to a contract prior to July 1. Another team believed to be involved was the Flyers, who like the Penguins are looking for depth in goal behind their No. 1.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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