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Monday, July 11, 2011
Bruce Boudreau: Tomas Vokoun No. 1 guy

By ESPN.com

Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau gave newly acquired goaltender Tomas Vokoun a vote of confidence on Monday when he told reporters the veteran was his No. 1 netminder going into training camp.

"We're always going to play who we think is the best, but if you're looking at a guy that has experience and everything and has been a No. 1 goalie, you have to give Vokoun the respect that he's coming in and going to be the No. 1 guy," Boudreau said, according to multiple reports. "We'll see where it goes from there."

Vokoun, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Capitals, will battle incumbent Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby for playing time.

Helping direct the Washington goaltending trio is a man with a lot of experience playing in the Capitals' net, Olie Kolzig, who was hired as the team's associate goaltender coach in June.

Kolzig played with the Capitals from 1989 to 2008 and holds most team goalie records, including 711 games played, 301 wins and 35 shutouts. He was a two-time NHL All-Star while with the Capitals and won the 2000 Vezina Trophy for the league's top goalie.

"The kids that we have here are very talented, but there is something to be said for mentorship. Having a guy like Tomas around with his experience and he's a fantastic goalie," Kolzig said Monday at Washington's development camp, according to NHL.com.

"He hasn't had a whole lot of playoff experience, but in the international game he's represented the Czech Republic very well. He's a guy that can play in pressure situation, and being a Czech nationalist, he's got to be somewhat of a hero to Michal. I think that relationship is going to be great."

Dave Prior came back in his past role of director of goaltending and NHL goaltender coach. Prior was Washington's goaltending coach from the 1996-97 season to 2008-09.