Report: Flyers, Voracek to begin contract discussions soon

Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall said he hopes to begin contract talks with star winger Jakub Voracek soon. In 2014-15, Voracek opened the season on a tear and ended the campaign with 22 goals and a career-best 81 points. According to a report, it’s believed Voracek could earn $7 million per season in his next deal.

As of Wednesday, Jakub Voracek officially has one year remaining on his contract with Philadelphia, but according to a report, Flyers GM Ron Hextall is ready to talk extension with the 25-year-old right winger.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi, Hextall said he will begin contract talks with Voracek’s agent soon and it’s believed that a new deal for Voracek – who currently carries a cap hit of $4.25 million – could get a raise that puts him into the $7 million range in salary.

Generally speaking, a raise of that kind is rarely seen, but considering Voracek has posted back-to-back career-best seasons, it seems as though the Czech Republic national has more than earned the right to be the second-highest paid player on the Flyers.

In 2013-14, Voracek’s third season in Philadelphia, he set a career mark with 23 goals and 62 points while forming an exceptional duo alongside Flyers captain Claude Giroux. Voracek followed up his career year with a season for the ages: he burst out of the gate as the NHL’s scoring leader and, though he eventually fell out of the Art Ross Trophy race, finished his 2014-15 campaign with 22 goals and 81 points, nearly a 20-point improvement over his previous career high.

Voracek has been a consistent goal scorer, too. In each of his past three seasons, he has scored at least 22 goals and barely missed the 20-goal plateau in 2011-12. Locking up Voracek would mean securing a sure-fire 20-goal scorer for years to come.

Suffice to say, if the Flyers want to sign Voracek long-term, it’s likely going to cost them that $7 million price tag. Even worse for Philadelphia, though, is that if they don’t get him under contract soon or are unwilling to pay a high price, they’ll tick closer and closer to losing Voracek as an unrestricted free agent next off-season.

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For obvious reasons, losing Voracek, who is good for a consistent 65 to 70 points per season, would hurt the Flyers, but his production on the power play is something that would be incredibly difficult to recoup. Over the past three seasons, Voracek has netted 27 goals with the extra man, with half of his 22 goals this past season coming on the power play.

They would also lose Giroux’s wing man in a league where ever-increasingly a team’s offense seems to be focused around at least one pair of players. In a sense, the combination of Giroux and Voracek has become the Flyers’ version of Anaheim’s combination of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.

In 2014-15, Voracek skated just over 1,150 minutes at 5-on-5. Only 212 of those minutes were apart from Giroux. When the duo was on the ice together, Philadelphia scored roughly 57.5 percent of the goals. That’s a ratio any team will take from their top two forwards.

Before coming to Philadelphia, Voracek was a first-round pick, seventh overall, of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2007. He was dealt to Philadelphia as part of the trade that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus.