Vokoun can't escape trade rumors at Games

February, 20, 2010

The latest team linked to Tomas Vokoun in NHL trade rumors is the Chicago Blackhawks.

Although one NHL source told ESPN.com on Friday not to discount that rumor completely, another source said the complete opposite.

Just another day for Vokoun, who has been bandied about all over the Internet trade rumor mill.

"I did read some stuff," Vokoun said Friday night after his Czech team's 5-2 win over Latvia. "I follow hockey closely, it comes across. But I haven't been approached [to waive his no-move clause] by anybody from Florida or anything like that, so until I hear otherwise, I'm just going to treat it as rumors. Right now, I'm playing for Florida and that's where my focus is."

Vokoun said the only communication from Panthers GM Randy Sexton was Olympics-related.

"Randy sent me a text message before I left, just wish me well in the Games," said Vokoun. "That's the only conversation I've had with him."

Vokoun and the Czechs next face rival Russia on Sunday in what will be an amazing day in the Olympic tournament with Canada-USA and Finland-Sweden also on tap.

"This whole tournament is great," Vokoun said. "You look at the atmosphere today, how loud it was for Latvia. When we played against Slovakia, how good the environment was. For me playing in the south United States, it's a whole lot different atmosphere for me. I'm enjoying every bit of it. This is so easy to play; it makes it fun when you're standing in the crease before the game, it gets so loud, you get goose bumps."

Vokoun tipped his hat to the Canadian fans in Vancouver.

"We practice come and go to this rink, there's different games when Canada's not playing or not even any favorites playing," he said. "You see people with Canadian jerseys coming out of the rinks. They go to any games. That just shows you how they love hockey."

Reporter Craig Custance of the Sporting News then asked Vokoun whether he was wearing larger equipment, more specifically a bigger chest protector. Always a touchy subject with goalies, but Vokoun took it in stride.

"No. It's the same, these rumors always come out in these situations," Vokoun said with a laugh. "Actually, I have this chest protector for the last three years. With the food court in the Olympic Village open 24 hours a day, maybe I gained a couple pounds."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer


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