Former Flyers Forward Jakub Voracek Retires

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers / Elsa/GettyImages

This seems to be the season for former Flyer fan favorites to be saying goodbye to hockey. First, it was Wayne Simmonds. Next, it was Jeff Carter. Neither one was a surprise. Simmonds was a shell of himself, a body riddled with injuries due to the intense way he played. Carter had been a vet for 19 seasons. The next former Flyer great to call it a career is Jakub Voracek. However, to be fair, he hasn't hit the ice since the fall of 2022.

Voracek with the seventh overall pick in 2007, selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He would play for three seasons in Columbus, spending just one year in the minors. He would be traded to Philadelphia in June 2011 for Carter, along with a first-round pick that would become Sean Couturier.

The twin trades of Carter and Mike Richards would end one era of Flyers hockey and usher in a new one. Couturier would become a foundational piece of the team. As for Voracek, he became paired with Claude Giroux. They would become one of the most dynamic pairings in Flyers' history, up there with Richards and Carter, John LeClair and Eric Lindros, and Bill Barber and Bobby Clarke.

Giroux and Voracek just clicked. They were magical. Voracek was not the prolific goal scorer that Giroux was, although he did score 20+ goals in six of his ten seasons in Philadelphia. Instead, he knew how to set Big G up for a goal. He topped 80 points and 50 assists twice as a Flyer. In 2014-15, he represented the Flyers as an NHL All-Star.

He is tenth in Flyers history with 604 points, three ahead of Rod Brind'Amour and 23 shy of Mark Recchi. To be between one Hall of Famer and just ahead of a likely HOFer is a good company to be in. He is fifth in assists with 427, ahead of Recchi and just behind Barber. His 177 goals are good for 19th, but he will soon be passed by Travis Konecny (174).

This is not to say that he was perfect. You always hoped he'd have the confidence to shoot the puck as much as he passed it. Towards the end of his career in Philadelphia. There were times when it seemed like he didn't care. It was thought that he needed a change of scenery and he was dealt back to Columbus for Cam Atkinson.

In his first year back in Columbus, he led the team in points with 62 despite scoring just six goals. He was starting his second year in the fall of 2022 when he got hit hard. It was another in a string of concussions that he couldn't shake off. As longtime Flyers fans can attest, concussions are nasty things, having claimed the careers of Lindros and Chris Pronger. He hadn't played since, although he remained on the roster, including being traded to Arizona to help pad their salary cap hit.

When he was in Philly, Voracek was great to watch. He could fly down the ice and help set up a play like no other. It's a shame that the Flyers could never consistently find a partner for Voracek and Giroux to make a truly dominant line. He and Giroux were the answer to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The difference is that Pittsburgh won several Stanley Cups while the Flyers are still waiting.

We wish nothing but the best for Voracek in his future endeavors. More importantly, we hope he is no longer hampered and burdened by his concussions to enjoy his post-NHL career.