Off the Ice with Tomas Vokoun

1/21/2008

Recently I was able to screen Florida Panthers All-Star goaltender Tomas Vokoun long enough to ask him a few questions about life in the NHL. Vokoun is a 31-year-old goalie from Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, who was originally drafted by Montreal in the ninth round (226th overall) in 1994. He played in only one period for the Canadiens in 1996-97 and was selected by Nashville in the expansion draft of 1998. Before making a name for himself with the Preds, he made stops in the ECHL (Wheeling) and the AHL (Fredericton). In Nashville he established himself as a bona-fide number one NHL goaltender as he was the backbone of the most successful Predators teams and he led the franchise to their first ever postseason appearance in 2003-04. On January 26 in Atlanta he will be making his second All-Star appearance, after representing the Predators for the Western Conference at the 2004 All-Star Game. This season, his first with Florida after an offseason trade to the Sunshine State, Vokoun has kept the Panthers in contention for a playoff spot with 36 games left. He is currently ranked eighth in the NHL in wins (19), 14th in save percentage (.914), sixth in shutouts (3), third in games played (43) and leads all netminders with 5 assists. So who is Tomas Vokoun off the ice? Read on:

Dan Rice: Who’s been the best roommate that you’ve had in the NHL?

Tomas Vokoun: I’ll say Vladimir Orszagh when I was in Nashville.

DR: Favorite NHL city that you’ve played in?

TV: I like Vancouver.

DR: What kind of music is on your iPod these days?

TV: I like a little bit of everything, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, some country too.

DR: What’s the funniest or craziest thing someone has said to you or that you’ve heard while you are on the ice?

TV: There’s always so much talking on the ice, it’s hard to remember just one.

DR: What has been your best hockey memory so far?

TV: My first season in Nashville (1998-99), making the playoffs for the first time there (2003-04) and winning a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics with the Czech Republic.

DR: Favorite TV Show?

TV: Seinfeld

DR: Favorite Movie?

TV: Good Will Hunting

DR: Who’s the biggest prankster on the team?

TV: I’d have to say it’s definitely (defenseman) Steve Montador here; he’s always doing something to get the guys laughing.

DR: Favorite player growing up?

TV: Dominik Hasek, who is a living legend in the Czech Republic.

I hope everyone enjoyed learning more about Tomas Vokoun and if there is a player you’d like to read about in a future column or have a question you’d like to see a player asked, let me know:

Dan Rice covers the New Jersey Devils & NHL for NYCSportsnetwork.com & contributes to MaxHockey.com as well as IslesNation.com. He can be reached at drdiablo321@yahoo.com.

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