Voracek? More like “Scored-a-Check!”

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]

This has been a good offseason for Jake so far. He may not have gotten a chance to hoist the Cup but he did finally get that long-term security that all NHL players are looking for. Former teammates, Ron Hextall and Petr Svoboda (Voracek’s current agent), sat down at the negotiating table this summer and hashed out an eight year, sixty six million dollar deal.

Now that the ink has dried, Flyers fans can feel good that the duo of Giroux and Voraceck will be piloting the first line for at least 2021, if both play out their current contracts.

But did Voracek deserve that money?

Let’s review.

For the purpose of this article, the stats used will be from the season of the 2012-2013 lockout forward.

Below are five left-wingers who play a prominent role in their team’s offensive production compared to Voracek’s numbers over the same time. These players were picked off the top of my head so if there are any omissions then my apologies.

Alex Ovechkin – 9,538,462/year until 2021

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 32 24 56 2 36 16 0 4 220 14.6
2013-2014 78 51 28 79 -35 48 24 0 10 386 13.2
2014-2015 81 53 28 81 10 58 25 0 11 395 13.4
  207 136 80 216 -23 142 65 0 25 1,001  

Jakub Voracek – 8,250,000/year until 2022

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 22 24 46 -7 35 8 0 3 129 17.0
2013-2014 82 23 39 62 11 22 8 0 2 235 9.8
2014-2015 82 22 59 81 1 78 11 0 3 221 10.0
  212 67 122 189 5 135 27 0 8 585  

Placing Voracek against Ovechkin seems unfair since Ovechkin is the benchmark for all left-wingers in the NHL. However, since the 2012-2013 lockout was settled, Voracek’s numbers are similar enough. Ovechkin will, and should, certainly have more goals since he’s a pure scorer but Jake is able to make up lost ground by netting extra assists. And that leaves Voracek only 27 points away from being even with Ovechkin’s point total. And Voracek has a +5 to Ovechkin’s -23. Ovechkin has more power play goals, and game winning goals, but the offense goes through him and always has since he broke into the league.   Factor in Jake’s age (four years younger than Ovechkin) and the numbers appear that they may eventually even out.

Phil Kessel – 6,800,000/year until 2021

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 20 32 52 -3 18 6 0 4 161 12.4
2013-2014 82 37 43 80 -5 27 8 0 6 305 12.1
2014-2015 82 25 36 61 -34 30 8 0 4 280 8.9
  212 82 111 193 -42 74 22 0 14 746  

Jakub Voracek – 8,250,000/year until 2022

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 22 24 46 -7 35 8 0 3 129 17.0
2013-2014 82 23 39 62 11 22 8 0 2 235 9.8
2014-2015 82 22 59 81 1 78 11 0 3 221 10.0
  212 67 122 189 5 135 27 0 8 585  

Phil Kessel has been one of the most widely criticized players in the NHL for the past few seasons. He was the centerpiece of a Maple Leafs team that never fully lived up to their lofty expectations and now hopes to reinvent himself in Pittsburgh.

Since the lockout, Voracek has more goals and more points. Kessel takes the edge in assists, but just barely.   It will be hard to judge how Kessel’s numbers will be affected by playing with Crosby, but he signed his contract extension when market value for wingers was less and the amount of money for the amount of years reflects that.

Jamie Benn – 5,250,000/year until 2018

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 41 12 21 33 -12 40 3 0 3 110 10.9
2013-2014 81 34 45 79 21 64 5 1 3 279 12.2
2014-2015 82 35 52 87 1 64 10 2 6 253 13.8
  204 81 118 199 10 208 18 3 12 642  

Jakub Voracek – 8,250,000/year until 2022

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 22 24 46 -7 35 8 0 3 129 17.0
2013-2014 82 23 39 62 11 22 8 0 2 235 9.8
2014-2015 82 22 59 81 1 78 11 0 3 221 10.0
  212 67 122 189 5 135 27 0 8 585  

Jamie Benn is relatively new to people’s radars if they are not avid NHL fans. Playing in Dallas may have something to do with this.

Benn has become a major player in the Stars lineup and his numbers are beginning to reflect that. Benn’s contract is up in 2018 and, if he keeps up this current play, then he can expect a large, current market value, payday. Voracek’s contract may become a tool for the Stars to figure out what they will have to pay to keep Benn in a Stars’ uniform.

Daniel Sedin – 7,000,000/year until 2018 

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 47 12 28 40 12 18 3 0 3 138 8.7
2013-2014 73 16 31 47 0 38 5 0 4 224 7.1
2014-2015 82 20 56 76 5 18 4 0 5 226 8.8
  202 48 115 163 17 74 12 0 12 588  

Jakub Voracek – 8,250,000/year until 2022 

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 22 24 46 -7 35 8 0 3 129 17.0
2013-2014 82 23 39 62 11 22 8 0 2 235 9.8
2014-2015 82 22 59 81 1 78 11 0 3 221 10.0
  212 67 122 189 5 135 27 0 8 585  

The Sedin twins have been stalwarts in Vancouver since they broke into the league together. Outside of plus/minus, which is not the best stat to judge player quality with, Voracek tops Sedin in almost every category.

And Sedin signed for seven million a year in 2013. When his contract renewal hits in 2018, he may not make nearly as much as he previously did due to his age and the Canucks inability to consistently go deep into the playoffs.

Rick Nash – 7,800,000/year until 2018

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 44 21 21 42 16 26 3 1 3 176 11.9
2013-2014 65 26 13 39 10 36 4 2 9 258 10.1
2014-2015 79 42 27 69 29 36 6 4 8 304 13.8
  188 89 61 150 55 98 13 7 20 738   

Jakub Voracek – 8,250,000/year until 2022

SEASON GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
2012-2013 48 22 24 46 -7 35 8 0 3 129 17.0
2013-2014 82 23 39 62 11 22 8 0 2 235 9.8
2014-2015 82 22 59 81 1 78 11 0 3 221 10.0
  212 67 122 189 5 135 27 0 8 585  

Rangers winger Rick Nash makes close to eight million a year for providing more goals (and, by proxy, game winning goals) then Jake. And that’s about it. Nash tops plus/minus as well but that’s an unfair assessment since the Rangers defense includes McDonaugh, Girardi, and Staal. Put that against a Flyers defensive squad that has been simply abysmal since Pronger went down and Timonen’s age got the better of him.

Now, back to the original question: did Voracek deserve the money?

The answer is yes. And if the Flyers did not give him the extension then another team would have. Solid wingers are hard to come by, as the Flyers already know since they cannot seem to find a top-flight right-winger that brings a scoring touch.

People are complaining that a cap hit of 8,250,000/year is excessive but, unfortunately, that is current market value. And if Voracek keeps ramping up his production playing on Giroux’s wing, then Hextall will look brilliant by the end of 2022.

**Salary numbers from http://www.capfriendly.com and yearly stats from http://www.nhl.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s