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Tomas Vokoun announces retirement after 15 NHL seasons

by December 15, 2014 10:09 AM Puck Daddy
 
 
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
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Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

After 700 NHL games over the course of 15 seasons, 38-year old Tomas Vokoun has announced his retirement.

"My family is priority. I had some offers but it was like: Maybe. We will see. I didn´t want to travel round the clubs and wait,” Vokoun told iSport, via Zdenek Janda

Vokoun was the Nashville Predators' fifth choice in the 1998 NHL Expansion Draft after the Montreal Canadiens, who drafted him 226th overall in 1994, left him unprotected. He waited for his chance behind Mike Dunham, and when he finally took on the no. 1 job he turned into a workhorse, averaging 68 appearances over the next three seasons.

As part of the small club of right-handed goaltenders in the NHL, Vokoun blossomed into a steady no. 1 under the tutelage of Mitch Korn with the Predators. helping the team make the playoffs twice. After eight years, he was traded to the Florida Panthers, where his work would only increase.

Vokoun faced more than 2,000 shots twice in four seasons in Sunrise. He saw 7,902 total shots as a Panther, nearly 900 more than his previous four seasons in Nashville (7,012).

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Vokoun from the Washington Capitals in June 2012, in what would be his final season in the NHL. During the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he would replace Marc-Andre Fleury during their first round series with the New York Islanders and help lead them to the Eastern Conference Final.

The following September, the Penguins announced that Vokoun would be out indefinitely after a blood clot was discovered, an ailment that had cut short his 2005-06 season.

Vokoun would never play again. 

"I can say that it was a successful career," Vokoun said to iSport. "I'm proud of what I did.”

Vokoun won 300 NHL games, owns bronze medals from the 2004 World Cup and 2006 Olympics, plus two golds from the 2005 and 2010 World Championships. He appeared in two All-Star Games and is the Predators' franchise record-holder in goaltender appearances (383), minutes played (21,789) and saves (9,657). 

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports.  

 
 
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