The Philadelphia Flyers haven't really had a lot of wins in this offseason. Not only have Flyers fans like myself said goodbye to the likes of Jaromir Jagr and Matt Carle, the likes of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter haven't come to fill the gap after all. As such, it makes it a little more refreshing that Philadelphia actually re-signed someone on July 26.
While Philadelphia mourned Weber staying with the Nashville Predators after all, the Flyers got right back on their feet to take care of another offseason priority. For once, they managed to re-sign one of their own - in this case, Jakub Voracek to a four-year, $17 million contract.
One has to wonder if the Flyers could have afforded this if they had to pay $110 million to Weber over 14 years. But since that is Nashville's problem now, Philadelphia now has all that money left over to lock up its current players. It couldn't keep Jagr or Carle, yet locking up Voracek may prove to be a pretty big deal.
GM Paul Holmgren stated that Voracek will likely play on Claude Giroux's line next season, which will certainly help his numbers and impact. Voracek came to the Flyers when they traded Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets last year - which became more infamous when Carter won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings. But the deal could be more of a long term victory if all goes well.
Voracek already scored 49 points and 18 goals last season, as one of the Flyers many emerging new stars. Pairing him with Giroux will make him emerge even more, especially if Giroux keeps playing to MVP form. While the Flyers don't have Weber to strengthen the defense, it is their offense that could use a little more punch after losing Jagr, Carle and James van Riemsdyk.
Of course, when Philadelphia traded Carter and Mike Richards last summer, the offense turned out to not lose a step at all. Hopefully the same thing will happen in the coming season - whenever it starts - and the offense can make up for having no Weber, no Chris Pronger and a potentially iffy Ilya Bryzgalov. Yet if the Flyers let Voracek go, especially after all their recent setbacks, it would have been a pretty costly blow.
However, the Flyers can breathe a sigh of relief that they succeeded in signing someone again. Maybe it isn't someone on Weber's level - yet - but Philadelphia needed some good news after the way this week started. Perhaps that will be a good omen, once Holmgren makes his final push to get someone like Bobby Ryan or Shane Doan to join Voracek as well.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident and a Flyers fan since the age of eight.
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