Pens’ Vokoun to go on AHL conditioning assignment
PITTSBURGH (AP) More than six months after undergoing a procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun will return to professional hockey this weekend when he plays for the team’s American Hockey League affiliate.
The Penguins on Tuesday announced that Vokoun, 37, will be re-assigned to the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for a conditioning stint.
The AHL Penguins play Friday, Saturday and Sunday but Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said Vokoun was not scheduled to play in all three – the maximum length for a conditioning assignment.
After being put on blood thinners last fall, Vokoun was cleared to practice in February and has done so regularly but is experiencing soreness. The initial timeframe for a return was 3-6 months.
A 14-year NHL veteran, Vokoun replaced Marc-Andre Fleury in the first round of last year’s playoffs and backstopped the Penguins to the conference final. Rookie Jeff Zatkoff has performed well as Fleury’s backup this season, and Bylsma has said he is comfortable with Zatkoff as Fleury’s backup heading into the playoffs.