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Jake Isn't Getting Paid for "One Great Season"

Created 1 years 151 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

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written by Michael DeNicola


Thursday, July 14th, 2016 --



Something I continue to see on the internet are statements about Jake Voracek being paid for "one great season." These comments, of course, are speaking about his 2014-15 season with the Flyers when he led the NHL in scoring for a good portion of the year, and ended with 81 points, ranking him 4th in that category. 


That next July 30th, Voracek and the Flyers agreed to an eight-year, $66 Million contract extension, which demands a $8.25 million annual cap hit. 


The following season, Jake was snake bitten. We were midway through the month of November when he finally scored his first goal of the year. He finished the season playing only 73 games, scoring 11 goals and 55 points. 


You can imagine the reaction from our fans. 


"ONE GREAT SEASON!" they shout from behind their keyboards. I mean, I understand the frustration, but let's not allow it to get in the way of hard, statistical data. I'm not talking about fancy stats which have a hot or cold temperature with the fans out there. I'm referring to Time on Ice, Assists, Goals... tangible, hard evidence that can't be argued. Sure, go on any hockey analytics website and you'll discover Jake has elite level possession metrics. But at the end of the day, not everyone is convinced by Corsi-based mathematics. 


That's neither here nor there. That is not why I opened up my blog and began writing today. 


I want to take a look back on Jake's entire career which consists of three seasons with the Blue Jackets, and five with the Flyers. I want to break it down per year, and measure his scoring against scales like Points Per 60-minutes (P/60) and a *Scoring Consistency Rating (CR%).


*I've been using this stat a lot lately. Basically what I do is, I take X amount of games Player A has played, and filter out the Y amount of games he scored a point in. The value is a percentage of games Player A scores, rather than spreading his total points over all the games he's played (like we see with Points Per Game). This helps me eliminate any question if the player is a streaky scorer or a consistent points contributor throughout a sampling of games-played. 


RW Jake Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers, $8.25mm AAV


2008-09 Season: 80GP, 9G, 38 Pts, 1013 TOI

  • P/60: 2.25
  • CR%: 0.388 (39%)

2009-10 Season: 81GP, 16G, 50 Pts, 1265 TOI

  • P/60: 2.37
  • CR%: 0.432 (43%)

2010-11 Season: 80GP, 14G, 46 Pts, 1358 TOI

  • P/60: 2.03
  • CR%: 0.437 (44%)

2011-12 Season: 78GP, 18G, 49 Pts, 1271 TOI

  • P/60: 2.31
  • CR%: 0.449 (45%)

2012-13 Season: 48GP, 22G, 46 Pts, 827 TOI

  • P/60: 3.34
  • CR%: 0.604 (60%)

2013-14 Season: 82GP, 23G, 62 Pts, 1415 TOI

  • P/60: 2.63
  • CR%: 0.524 (52%)

2014-15 Season: 82GP, 22G, 81 Pts, 1525 TOI

  • P/60: 3.19
  • CR%: 0.659 (66%)

2015-16 Season: 73GP, 11G, 55 Pts, 1357 TOI

  • P/60: 2.43
  • CR%: 0.521 (52%)



In the NHL today, scoring is not like it was yesteryear. Save percentages are increasing, and shooting percentages are decreasing on a yearly basis. It's been this way the last 10 years. 


From an article written by Stephen Burtch, Sportsnet.ca --


This presents a bit of a quandary because it implies that individual production rates, while lower, aren't actually out of line with what should be expected based on how the game is being coached and played. The underlying rates of offensive performance haven't shifted significantly, but the amount of time players are skating in advantageous scoring situations is being reduced. So we may not see many 50-goal or 100-point producers any more, but that doesn't equate to a talent drain. What it means is we need to alter our expectations of what it means to be a top scorer.


CHART-WHATTOEXPECT



Starting in 2012-13, Voracek really began coming into his own. He hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career, his Points Per 60-minutes soared well above an elite level, and he was scoring in more than half the games he played in. 


From 2012-13, Jake has played in 285 games, scored 56 goals, 244 points, and accrued 5,124 minutes of ice time. That breaks down like so...

  • 2012-13 - Present: 2.86 P/60, 0.575 CR%
  • Career: 2.55 P/60, 0.497 CR%

Before you point out how his 2014-15 season inflates the numbers, keep in mind they include this past season's statistics as well. So in the end, this balances out. In fact, to me, this heavily entails that 2015-16 was an irregularity. This past season was really a Tale of Three Voraceks: virtually the entire team was struggling to a newer system of playing hockey, thanks to the introduction of our freshman head coach, Dave Hakstol. After a 20-or-so game grace period, our skaters began picking it up... this included Jake. When Voracek returned from his foot injury, he just wasn't the same mobile, agile skater. 


It was a down year for Jake, I don't want anyone thinking I mean any different. But he is hardly being paid for one exceptional season. In addition to elite, consistent scoring per 60-minutes, listen to these statistics....

  • Since 2012-13, Jake has 64 multi-point regular season games, ranking him 12th in that category, tied with Evgeny Malkin, and one more than Steven Stamkos. 
  • Since 2012-13, Jake has fourteen 3-point regular season games, ranking him 21st in that category, tied with Anze Kopitar, and one more than Jeff Carter, Pavel Datsyuk, and Logan Couture.
  • Since 2012-13, only 60 skaters have multiple 4-point regular season games. Tyler Seguin leads the pack with eight(!), but Voracek, along with 36 others, have two. 


Jake hasn't been paid for just one great year. 



"BUT HE'S OVERPAID!"


This is where it gets hairy. I don't care how great you are, an $8.25 million cap hit is a tough pill to swallow. I totally get that. And when you consider there are only thirteen NHLers in 2016-17 who cost equal or greater than that, then ya start to sweat a bit. 


The timing on Voracek's down year really could not be any worse. 


Like I said, thirteen NHLers with equal or greater cap hits: Voracek, Getzlaf ($8.25m), Giroux ($8.275m), Stamkos ($8.5m), Lundqvist ($8.5m), Perry ($8.625m), Crosby ($8.7m), Subban ($9m), Malkin ($9.5m), Ovechkin ($9.54m), Kopitar ($10m), and Kane & Toews ($10.5m). 


Jake's certainly in some elite company. Including his contract, there are six belonging to forwards in the $8 - $9 million range. Here's how Jake's stats stack up against them...


Sidney Crosby, for his career...

  • 707GP, 338G, 938 Pts, 14841 TOI
  • P/60: 3.80
  • CR%: 0.722 (72%)

Corey Perry, for his career...

  • 804GP, 330G, 664 Pts, 14727 TOI
  • P/60: 2.70
  • CR%: 0.567 (57%)

Steven Stamkos, for his career...

  • 569GP, 312G, 562 Pts, 11242 TOI
  • P/60: 3.00
  • CR%: 0.617 (62%)

Claude Giroux, for his career...

  • 572GP, 166G, 517 Pts, 11209 TOI
  • P/60: 2.77
  • CR%: 0.586 (59%)

Ryan Getzlaf, for his career...

  • 787GP, 221G, 741 Pts, 15338 TOI
  • P/60: 2.90
  • CR%: 0.609 (61%)


When you look at the numbers of Voracek's entire career, he doesn't quite meet these height requirements. But when you narrow the scope and look at his results since 2012-13, Jake grabs an oar and is sitting in the same boat, absolutely.


It's a reach... I get it. I'm comparing a smaller sampling to a number of larger ones. Seems arbitrary. But I firmly believe Voracek has the full range of talent to unanimously prove his name belongs on that paycheck. 


Is he overpaid? You be the judge. And let time prove you right or wrong. But he certainly isn't collecting a lot of cheddar for just "one great season."


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