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An important signing

Locking up Voracek important to Flyers offense

Thursday, 07.26.2012 / 4:42 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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An important signing
Well, that didn’t take long.

One day after general manager Paul Holmgren stated the Flyers were “moving on” after being unsuccessful with someone else’s restricted free agent, they re-signed one of their own.

Jake Voracek, 22, signed a four-year contract with the Flyers worth $17 million. The annual cap hit will be $4.25 million for the team.

"We are happy to have Jake under contract and look forward to him being a big part of our future," general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement.

Holmgren said Wednesday that it was “only a matter of time” before Voracek signed. If there were an Olympic event for quantifying intentionally vague timetables, Holmgren would be a gold medal favorite.

All kidding aside, the signing of Voracek was important for the Flyers. Having lost Jaromir Jagr to free agency in the offseason, it was important to have his Czech countryman sign a new deal to replace the legendary winger on the Flyers top line.

Voracek, who set a career high with 18 goals in his first season with the Flyers and missed matching his career best in points by just one tally (49 points), is expected to play big minutes skating with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.

“Obviously the season is long,” Voracek said. “I am very happy that the Flyers gave me an opportunity to play on a top line with [Claude Giroux] and [Scott Hartnell]. Like I said you never know what happens during the season. I just have to work hard and hopefully we are going to play great together. It is going to be up to [Peter Laviolette] what he is going to do with the lines. I am sure it is something good."

The Flyers are hoping for something good from Voracek, who will be counted on to continue to improve from last season.

Voracek was always considered to be a top-tier prospect – which is why he was drafted with the seventh pick in the 2007 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Having missed just nine games in his four seasons in the NHL, Voracek has had three very consistent years. However the Flyers are expecting him to take the next step now that he’ll be playing with Giroux.

Part of that will mean Voracek will have to improve his shot – as he’ll be expected to better his 18-goal total.

“I always say my shot isn't bad,” he said. “I think I have a good shot and a heavy shot. My accuracy isn't as good as it could be and I miss the net a lot when I am shooting. If I can hit the net more often, I think more goals are going to go in and the more points are going to come in. We will see... I am working on it. I still have two months to work on it and we will see what happens.”

Voracek is working out again in Montreal, something he did last summer with positive results, so he’s back at it again.

All the while he’s been in touch with Jagr, who was his boyhood idol. Voracek said he was hoping Jagr would come back to Philadelphia, but understands why he picked Dallas. Voracek said that Jagr was a great influence on him in his young career.

“To be around him all year long and to watch what he does before the games, after games and during practice was something priceless,” Voracek said. “It is good where he is at right now. He obviously helped me a lot and to be around him, I thank him for that and wish him the best of luck."

Now that this move is complete, the Flyers are approximately $8.5 million below the salary cap, which leaves them a little more wiggle room to modify the roster, if necessary.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 50 16 28 -4 44
J. Voracek 50 8 34 1 42
W. Simmonds 50 18 16 -4 34
B. Schenn 48 14 15 -1 29
S. Gostisbehere 32 9 17 4 26
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 49 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 50 4 10 -6 14
M. Raffl 50 6 6 2 12
M. Del Zotto 48 3 9 -9 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 12 7 .916 2.68
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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