Late last week, Jakub Voracek signed a hefty contract extension with the Philadelphia Flyers that made him a player with the 10th-highest cap hit in the league (tied with Eric Staal and Ryan Getzlaf). The initial reaction most people had to that deal probably ranged somewhere between, “Well, Jake Voracek isn't a top-10 player in the league, so that's a dumb contract,” and, “He doesn't deserve as much money as Ryan Getzlaf,” and “He's only getting paid because of Claude Giroux.” [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] These are three related but separate ideas, all of which imply that Voracek isn't “worth it” in some way. But even at a baseline, if you believe that's the case, this was one of those contracts that was unavoidable because he puts up points, drives play, and stays healthy. Voracek has 189 points in his last 212 games — good for 10th in the league over that stretch, and 14th in points per game — with a possession share that hasn't dipped below 52.8 percent in the last three seasons. He has also missed exactly zero games in that time. That is a player providing significant value, even if he were just a hop-along to an elite player, which he isn't. In short, Voracek is very, very good, and the perception that he's a product of playing with Giroux, while understandable, isn't all that fair to him. He and Giroux form a lethal partnership, to be sure, but it isn't because Giroux carries the water . In his first season with the Flyers, under Peter Laviolette, it seems the club didn't really understand what it had in Voracek. As you can see below, he was protected from tougher competition to some extent. But it appears he was used more as a shutdown guy in the lockout season, the first in which he spent most of his time with Giroux (in truth, the Flyers were just not very good and got pushed around a lot; that actually qualifies as favorable usage relative to the rest of that dreadful team, which averaged 44.5 percent offensive zone starts). And the last two seasons, now a permanent fixture with Giroux, he's been used more or less the same way.
The Chronicles of Stanley is a weekly series this summer that tracks the Chicago Blackhawks as they each get their special alone time with the Stanley Cup. There have been plenty of NHL players have celebrated along with siblings also in the league who may not been as fortunate on the ice. Those poor siblings have to celebrate their brother’s accomplishment all while hiding their envy and staying as far away as possible from the Stanley Cup. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Two Staal brothers, Eric and Jordan, have won Cups. Did Marc and Jared just stay on the other side of the house while everyone else partied? For James van Riemsdyk, he was part of brother Trevor’s day with the Cup this past week, but kept his distance from the trophy. Big brother James here as well, but keeping his distance from the Cup for now. No touching. pic.twitter.com/UFsBFlLS7p — Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) July 30, 2015 As many players do, TVR shared his day with the local community and local youth hockey teams: Patrick Sharp and Antoine Vermette also had their days with the Cup. As part of his time, Sharp kept it low-key with his family: Madelyn & Sadie Sharp enjoy a slushie with another treat (Niantic, CT) #StanleyCup @NHLBlackhawks @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/JRsOTmxytK — Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 26, 2015 Vermette, meanwhile, made a stop at a local children’s hospital: Antoine Vermette brings #StanleyCup to hospital for sick kids (Quebec City, QC) @NHLBlackhawks @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/4y3yKuNOG1 — Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 25, 2015 Brandon Saad used his day to share it with military members at the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon, Pennsylvania. Be sure to check out Seth Rorabaugh’s coverage of Saad’s day. Duncan Keith’s day featured his son, Colton , and in a terribly Canadian moment, a moose: A new defensive partner? (Fort Frances, ON) #StanleyCup @NHLBlackhawks @HockeyHallFame (HHOF Archives) pic.twitter.com/3eq7MM9lVF — Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) August 1, 2015 Finally, Brad Richards brought the Cup back to Murray Harbour, PEI for the first time since 2004 and thousands turned out for a parade through town: And a day with the Cup couldn't go by without a cute photo of someone's baby. Last October, Richards and his girlfriend, Rechelle, welcomed a son, Luca, who posed for this adorable photo :
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com .
|Puck Daddy||Chicagoin 7||Great, gritty battle between two teams loaded with big names and quality grunts. The Hossa Hex ends, much to our chagrin.|
|Sam McCaig||Chicagoin 6||Chicago's depth, skill and speed will prove to be too much for Philadelphia to overcome, and the 'Hawks can keep pace physically with the Flyers.|
|Ross McKeon||Chicagoin 6||The 'Hawks are poised to win their first Cup since 1961, but if we’ve learned anything from these playoffs it’s to expect the unexpected.|
|Matt Romig||Chicagoin 6||Give the 'Hawks the edge in skill, speed and special teams. Philly brings enough intangibles to extend an otherwise one-sided series.|