NHL Free Agency 2012: Philadelphia Flyers Must Focus on Re-Signing Jakub Voracek
The Flyers need to make sure that the latter doesn't happen.
Having swung and missed on home-run free agents Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and now Shea Weber, it's time to refocus on making sure they retain their own talent.
Voracek figures to be an important part of the team this year, and everything is in place for him to break out.
In his first season in Philadelphia, he put up a career high with 18 goals and showed flashes of the offensive talent that tempted Columbus into taking him seventh overall in his draft class.
Voracek is a player that can be difficult to knock off the puck, and he can dictate the tempo of the game when he has the puck on his stick in the offensive zone.
His passing and stick-handling are top notch when he's on his game, his career low in assists was 29 his rookie year and he has the potential to be a 25-plus goal scorer if he's given top-line minutes.
More impressive was his run in the playoffs last season, where he posted 10 points in only 11 games.
There's a vacant wing on Claude Giroux's line now, and Voracek stands to be the best guy to fill that role.
He's not as strong as Jaromir Jagr is, and his shot isn't quite as deadly, but at 22 he's got plenty of skill and room to grow.
Giving Giroux a linemate with a ton of talent and upside could pay off if they can develop long-term chemistry.
Giroux needs a winger he trusts after losing Jagr, and Voracek can be that guy.
There also aren't a lot of other options on the team currently that can say that. Matt Read is probably the closest one, but after him there isn't a lot there.
Read is talented, but he doesn't have quite the possession game that Voracek does. He's more of a forechecker and transition player.
Aside from the way Voracek fits into the top line, he provides, if nothing else, depth at the wing position. Without him, the Flyers would lack that depth.
Voracek shouldn't break the bank with his contract, but if another team comes in with an offer sheet that well overpays for him, the Flyers could lose him.
That might seem unlikely, but guys get overpaid more frequently now that teams need to hit a cap floor. That's not a risk, however unlikely, the Flyers need to be taking right now.
Jakub Voracek should be a big part of this team for seasons to come, and the first step to ensuring that happens is getting him a contract.
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