Czech world champion retires due to blood clots
Vokoun last time played in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the playoffs in 2013 before health issues were discovered during the off-season. Since then he appeared only during a short comeback attempt in April 2014 with the Pens’ AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.
The 38-year-old had hope and practised until recently before coming to the conclusion that his career as a professional player is over. “But when I look back I have no regrets. I can walk away with my head held high,” he said.
Vokoun was the most successful Czech goalkeeper in the National Hockey League behind legendary Dominik Hasek winning 300 games in 700 NHL appearances and earning 51 shutouts. Vokoun also played 22 post-season games. In 2004 he led the Nashville Predators to their first playoff appearance after having joined the team coming from the Montreal Canadiens organization. Later he played for the Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Karlovy Vary native retires with a save percentage of 91.7 and a 2.55 goals against average.
Vokoun was the Czech national team’s number one in the net when they won World Championship gold 2005 in Vienna and 2010 in Cologne. In 2005 he was also named Best Goalkeeper of the World Championship and in 2010 he was named as Czech Player of the Year as first netminder since Hasek in 1998.
He represented the Czech Republic in four World Championships, in the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
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