Thursday, July 26, 2012

Flyers gift Voracek with new contract

There was never much doubt that the Flyers were going to sign Jakub Voracek to a new contract. He was a restricted free agent, and if a player isn't on the level of a Shea Weber, teams simply don't commit themselves to trying to steal some other team's property.
Besides, Voracek, at just 22, showed enough potential last season to warrant a lot of financial attention from the club that was happy to have him. While it took a while, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren finally sealed a deal with Voracek today, signing the power forward to a four-year contract, reportedly worth $17 million. That would post Voracek's salary cap hit of $4.25 million second only to Danny Briere ($6.5 million) among Flyers forwards.
It would also be indicative of the commitment that the Flyers feel they have to make to their young core group of forwards. Said one management source: "We are at a point where we have to let our young players grow."
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren had said in a conference call Tuesday that he considered Voracek as the front-runer to replace the fellow Czech player he grew up idolizing, Jaromir Jagr, on the top line next to center Claude Giroux. This contract could be construed as supporting that notion.
"We are happy to have Jake under contract and look forward to him being a big part of our future," Holmgren said in a statement Wednesday.
The 6-2, 215-pound Voracek scored 18 goals and registered 49 points with the Flyers last season after coming to Philadelphia from Columbus in the Jeff Carter deal. He continued to produce in the playoffs, with two goals and 10 points.
While Voracek clearly appears to be an important part of the Flyers' future, having him under contract might also be attractive to a prospective trading partner at some point in the future. But they certainly seem willing to give him a chance to grow in their ranks first.


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