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Vokoun not asked to waive no-trade clause

Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun is playing for the Czech Republic in the Olympics. Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI/Getty Images

If Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun is coming to Chicago, he doesnt know it -- at least not yet.

According to Vokoun's agent, Michael Deutsch, Vokoun has not been approached to waive his no-trade clause. League sources say Panthers’ GM Randy Sexton is fielding offers for his underachieving team, and Vokoun is not off limits.

Sources also indicate the Hawks have inquired about available goaltenders in advance of the March 3 trade deadline. At least one is believed to reside in the Eastern Conference. Vokoun is, by far, the best goalie conceivably on the market. Though his record is 19-21-10, he's tied for the league lead in shutouts with seven; ranks 11th in goals against (2.36) and first in save percentage (.931). He has lost his last seven shootouts, however. Vokoun is currently the starting goaltender for the Czech Republic in the Olympics.

Speculation has been rampant that the Hawks were close to moving Cristobal Huet after Joel Quenneville raised eyebrows playing Antti Niemi in the final four games before the Olympic break. The latter two games came in back-to-back fashion within 20.5 hours of each other. Niemi won all four games after Huet had lost the previous three he started.

It's possible Vokoun has not been approached about a trade as to not disrupt his job during the Olympics, but it would be outside the norm for a general manager to put a deal in place without at least getting some tacit approval that a player with a no-trade clause would be amenable to being dealt. In addition, it’s common practice that such a player would submit a list of teams he would be willing to approve a trade to, but that has not taken place with Vokoun.

Vokoun could be approached to waive his no-trade clause after the Czech Republic is eliminated from the Olympics or right after the NHL trade embargo ends at midnight on February 28. The Panthers are currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, six points out off a playoff spot. Vokoun is a 10-year veteran with a career 3-8record in the playoffs.