In this week’s player spotlight, we are going to talk about Jakub Voracek. Voracek, drafted in 2008 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, had a very average three years there. He scored just 39 goals in, get this, in 241 games, never coming close to a point a game average that is typically the measuring stick for most up-and-coming players and star players. I know the game has changed big time from the huge point production players accumulated in the late 80’s early 90’s until we saw the invention of the “trap” made famous by the New Jersey Devils and the “left-wing lock” by the Detroit Red Wings. Two powerhouse teams took over the 90’s and changed the way defense was played, even today. Did Columbus know Voracek already reached his peak and therefore traded him to the Flyers in 2011? I think so! We have seen Voracek have a few good seasons and a steady player who has barely missed significant time in his career. Still, like the movie Groundhog Day, we are seeing the same old average to above-average statistics year in and year out for ten years.
Jakub Voracek is doing the same thing come playoff time. In his last 34 playoff games, if you included the three round-robin games last year, he has tallied a below-average seven goals and only 17 points. Why have we held onto a player like Voracek and another journeyman Claude Giroux for so damn long, only seeing results that are the same year in year out? There are plenty of fans out there that praise Voracek and Giroux and are clearly NOT seeing the big picture. This team hasn’t reached the Stanley Cup Finals in over a decade, and I truly believe it’s more than time to let these two go, especially Voracek, who I would think will be picked up in the upcoming expansion draft.
There is a ton of money tied up with Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux, and in my humble opinion, along with father time, they are only going to decline further. On the flip side to this take, I wouldn’t mind keeping them as third liners but no way at their current salaries. Both players’ main point output has been on the power play, but their 5-on-5 play is average at best, although both had a solid game Thursday night against the rival Penguins. Especially Giroux, who finally took over a game against, arguably, a playoff contender. So Flyers fans, I will ask you this, and hopefully, you won’t have your orange goggles on or YouTube highlights from 2012 when Voracek was more consistent. Is it time to say goodbye to Jake Voracek?
My answer is yes, the time has come, and we have a strong youth movement with a ton of talent and a farm system that seems to be producing upcoming talent. Thank you, Jake Voracek, for your services over the last 10+ seasons, but I wanna see a Stanley Cup sometime before I die, and you don’t have the “IT” factor, alongside a few others, to get that done. Remember, Flyers fans, especially the ones that ages, are as old as my cranky ass, the goal is to win the cup, and we certainly need new blood to make that a potential reality. ” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and looking for a different result” Hopefully, somehow someway, I’m proved wrong. Still, I don’t see this Flyers team winning a Stanley Cup until they get rid of longest-tenured players here.
Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire