A quick glance at Jakub Voracek's contract makes almost every single Flyers fan rejoice. As a big Voracek fan myself, I'm ecstatic he was finally locked up. After looking at Eric's zone entry data, it became clear that the Flyers had an in-house replacement for Jaromir Jagr all along. Perfect.
Naturally, however, I have a slight problem with the contract. On an earlier suggestion of reader nastynas88, I created a list of every player who hit restricted free agency this summer, what their cap hit was in 2011-12, what it is in 2012-13 and what year the contract expires. A handy database we can use to our advantage here.
Among the RFAs signed this summer, below appear to be some fairly comparable players to Voracek:
|Player||Age||2012 Cap Hit||GP||G||Pts||TOI/G|
It's not a perfect list -- ages range from 21 to 26, ice time from 16:17 to 19:32, etc. -- but here are similar players, scoring at similar rates, hitting restricted free agency in the same summer. Players considered and left out include Sergei Kostitsyn, Chris Stewart, Nick Foligno and Benoit Pouliot.
A player becomes UFA after either seven "accrued seasons" in the NHL or if they're 27 years old on June 30. An accrued season is one where the player is on the club's active roster for 40 games.
With that information, I was able to calculate rather easily how many years of RFA status these players' new contracts covered, and using CapGeek, put together the following chart:
|Player||Length||2013 Cap Hit||RFA Years Cap Hit||UFA Years Cap Hit|
|Jakub Voracek||4 years||$4,250,000||??||??|
|David Perron||4 years||$3,812,500||$3,250,000||$4,375,000|
|T.J. Oshie||5 years||$4,175,000||$3,687,500||$4,500,000|
|Sam Gagner||1 year||$3,200,000||$3,200,000||xx|
|Kris Versteeg||4 years||$4,400,000||$3,600,000||$4,670,000|
|Matt Duchene||2 years||$3,500,000||$3,500,000||xx|
|Non-Voracek Average||3.2 years||$3,817,500||$3,447,500||$4,515,000|
We don't yet know the year-by-year breakdown of Voracek's deal, but based on the five comparable players this summer, the average RFA season costs roughly $3.5 million and the average UFA season costs $4.5 million.
As Voracek has played four NHL seasons, he has three more years until he hits unrestricted free agency. Current market value for those three years, for a player similar to his skill, is $10.5 million. His one unrestricted free agency year has a current market value of approximately $4.5 million.
This leads to a four-year, $15 million contract for Voracek at market value, according to the five comparable players signed this month. That's not too far off the four-year, $17 million contract he received, and while cap space does not appear to be an issue for the Flyers right now, when has that not been an issue before?
Small difference? Absolutely. Could it simply be a matter of Doug Armstrong getting a really good deal on David Perron? Absolutely. Still, there's $2 million Petr Svoboda was able to squeeze out of the Flyers.