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Price is right for Caps on Vokoun, Red Wings on White

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To understand how the dynamics of the goalie free-agent market have changed, look no further than Tomas Vokoun.

Seen as the summer's top unrestricted netminder, he made $6.3 million last season with the Florida Panthers. In the one-year contract he agreed to with the Washington Capitals on Saturday, he'll make $1.5 million — a $4.8 million haircut for the veteran goalie.

Did he price himself out of the market on July 1, when a slew of backup goalies moved teams and two goalie-starved franchises (Colorado, Phoenix) went with cheaper options?

Whatever the case, he's with the Capitals now, and it's another win for GM George McPhee. The Capitals needed a veteran goalie to balance young Michal Neuvirth and hold a place as Braden Holtby matures in the AHL. In Vokoun, they get a 35-year-old who made 57 starts, posted a .922 save percentage, has eight straight seasons of 20-or-more wins and has 19 shutouts in his last three seasons.

"We now have a nice blend of talent, depth, experience and youth in the goaltending position," said McPhee. And no one who's threatening to leave for Russia if he doesn't start!

(By the way: The Colorado Avalanche inquired about Vokoun, before trading a first and a second for Semyon Varlamov. So the Capitals get those two picks and Vokoun at a dramatically reduced rate by waiting a day. Incredible.)

The only drawback — he only has 11 games of playoff experience, and hasn't seen the postseason since 2007. Dwayne Roloson, he is not.

Brian Rafalski, Ian White is not. But the Detroit Red Wings needed a puck-moving defenseman and signed White for 2 years at $2.875 million per season. White played for the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs, with stops with Carolina and Calgary before that last season.

He's a solid, affordable (taking a pay cut) competitor at 27 years old. From MLive.com:

"We've seen him a lot in the San Jose series,'' general manager Ken Holland told Booth Newspapers. "He can play on the power play, he's a competitor. He's a guy that thinks the game. He's got the skills. We've got skilled defensemen in (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Niklas) Kronwall, others, and he's comfortable playing with them.''

Holland added, "He's got some snarl in front of the net.''

Wonder if he polled Holmstrom and Franzen about that.

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