The Pittsburgh Penguins announced this afternoon that they had sent a 7th round draft pick in the upcoming draft to the Washington Capitals in exchange for goaltender Tomas Vokoun. The Penguins then signed him to a two year deal worth $2 million per season.
So Ray Shero gets his backup to Marc-Andre Fleury for next season for a 7th round pick? Not bad. Vokoun is 35 but a reliable backup for the Penguins to have.
This most certainly means that Brent Johnson's stay in Pittsburgh is coming to an end. But what about Brad Thiessen?
Thiessen is an unrestricted free agent that the Pens have until July 1st to make a decision on before he is free to sign with another team. I think the Vokoun signing is certainly bad news for Thiessen, who will have to settle for the #3 role in Pittsburgh if he returns next season. With Patrick Killeen as the only other goaltender signed through next season, Thiessen could easily be the starting goalie for the AHL Penguins next year.
However, being that Thiessen is an unrestricted free agent I don't think he wants to sign to play another season in the AHL, so he'll likely look to test the free agent market if he is still on the Pens roster at the end of June.
My hunch? Thiessen gets traded much like Vokoun just did, for a draft pick and to a team looking to sign a goaltender. Is Thiessen NHL ready? That's the big question mark, and what GM Ray Shero plans to do with Thiessen remains to be seen.