Preds trade Vokoun to Panthers |

Preds trade Vokoun to Panthers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ” The Nashville Predators traded top goaltender Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers on Friday hours before the NHL draft, unloading the priciest player on their roster for three draft picks.

The deal involves a first-round draft pick in 2008 and a second-round pick in 2007, according to a Predators official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team was still preparing its announcement.

The Predators signed Vokoun to a four-year, $22.8 million contract in September 2006. The deal was an extension set to take effect this season.

But Nashville’s future ownership is uncertain with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie making a $220 million offer to buy the team, and that deal won’t be processed by the NHL before free agency starts July 1.

Vokoun played in only 44 games last season because of a hand injury. He went 27-12 and had a .920 save percentage. He was replaced by Chris Mason who played in 40 games and went 24-11 with five shutouts ” all career highs.

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