When the Washington Capitals signed goaltender Tomas Vokoun(notes) to the still-incredible discount of $1.5 million for one season, it was reported that the Detroit Red Wings had also made a pitch for the former Florida Panthers netminder.
Via Japers' Rink, it turns out the Red Wings weren't just a contender — they were a finalist.
Here's Vokoun from iSports.cz, via the glory of Google Translate:
"I had a good offer for a three-year contract from Florida. But I wanted to go to a team where I was to show more interest. In Florida I did not feel it so much. Looking back, I made a mistake. It happened. But at that moment I had other information about me is that other clubs. For me it is absolutely incomprehensible, what happened then. But now I have to go to a good team that can accomplish something."
But if everything went successfully, you can also say for the better money, right?
"You know what, I'm thirty-five years I have slowly behind him 700 games in the NHL. Other keepers have been gone. I'm not complaining. But I was disappointed how the situation evolved. I did not get a single offer. No one! Then at the end came the Detroit and Washington. That was all. "
At the same time nor interest in Detroit was not hot, at least according to what is reported in local media ...
"No, no, I officially sent the offer, but I eventually agreed with Washington. Thus it was resolved. "
So what happened with the Wings and Vokoun?
Was Vokoun playing financial hardball with the Wings before signing that thrifty deal with the Capitals?
After Vokoun signed with Washington, Detroit GM Ken Holland spoke with the Detroit Free Press about the goalie pool for free agents. Try no to strain your eyes reading between these lines:
The Wings are looking for a veteran with some playoff experience to play behind Jimmy Howard(notes). Howard's youth -- he's only 27 -- is going to turn off some prospective candidates, because those looking to play more know that's more likely to happen behind a starter in his 30s.
"Some of the goalies we talked to didn't want to be a backup," general manager Ken Holland said.
"They want to go to other teams and have a shot at being No. 1 or at playing a lot more games."
On Monday, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau named Tomas Vokoun, who has never played a game with the franchise, as his starter entering the preseason. Which is probably not a coincidence.