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Tomas Vokoun recalled by Penguins after AHL conditioning stint

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Tomas Vokoun missed the entire regular season. (Getty Images)
Tomas Vokoun missed the entire regular season. (Getty Images)

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On Monday the Pittsburgh Penguins made an addition to their roster before the playoffs get under way; the recalled Tomas Vokoun from the AHL.

Vokoun has missed the entire season after a frightening situation unfolded in the preseason after blood clots were discovered in his leg, surgery dissolving the clots just in time. He wasn't sure at that point what the future had in store; he might return this season or he might not play again, ever.

He has returned. Vokoun was given clearance to start skating in the end of February and this past week he was sent down to AHL Scranton-Wilkes Barre for a conditioning assignment. Two starts later, he's back with the Penguins, joining the team despite not playing a single regular-season game.

It's interesting timing, of course, given what happened in last year's playoffs. Vokoun came in to replace the struggling Marc-Andre Fleury and took the Penguins to the Eastern Conference final. With Fleury's recurring playoff struggles, it's good to have Vokoun back. But to expect anything at this point from Vokoun would be unwise, he's been out for so long and two games worth of a rehab stint isn't much. The Penguins could very well stick with Jeff Zatkoff as the backup for now.

But this is good to see nonetheless for Vokoun's sake. He still might not play another NHL game -- he has said retirement was a possibility even before the blood clot issue -- but him getting back to his normal self is obviously good news.

Last season Vokoun had a .919 save percentage in 20 games behind Fleury, his first season in Pittsburgh. He only got better in the playoffs with a .933 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average in 11 starts.

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