By Tom Dougherty, CSNPhilly.com
Two days after locking up Sean Couturier, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall knocked out another major long-term deal.
The Flyers on Thursday night signed right winger Jakub Voracek to a multi-year contract extension. It’s an eight-year deal for $66 million, a league source tells CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.
“Once the season ended, you start looking at your priorities and clearly it was our No. 1 priority,” Hextall said Thursday night in a conference call. “The Jake Voraceks of the world are few and far between. He certainly wasn’t a player we wanted to risk losing.”
Voracek’s new deal will carry an $8.25 million cap hit, which will be tied for the 10th highest in the NHL and $25,000 less than Claude Giroux’s.
All told, Voracek’s contract is $200,000 fewer than Giroux’s eight-year, $66.2 million extension, which kicked in last year.
With one year left on his current four-year, $17 million contract, Voracek’s extension will begin with the 2016-17 season.
As for signing an extension before the training camp or the season, Voracek says he didn’t push it.
“I knew that I wanted to stay in Philly, that the team wanted me to stay in Philly,” he said. “I knew something was going to get done. It wasn’t about a time. It’s a good thing we came to a deal this quickly, so now we can focus on everything else. … It’s a great feeling to be secure like that.”
The 25-year-old led the Flyers with 81 points (tied for fourth in the NHL) and 59 assists (second in the league) last season. He also added 22 goals and 33 power-play points.
In four seasons with the orange and black, Voracek has 153 assists and 238 points. His 122 assists since the start of the 2012-13 season are the most among NHL wingers.
He’s played in every game for each of the last three seasons and 226 straight games dating back to the 2011-12 campaign. Since coming to the Flyers in 2011, he’s missed only four games.
The Flyers acquired Voracek, along with the No. 8 overall pick (Couturier) and a third-round pick (Nick Cousins) in a trade that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus in June 2011.
On Tuesday, the Flyers signed Couturier to a six-year, $25.98 extension.
And now both are penciled in with Giroux as key parts of the Flyers’ long-term plan.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: See story on CSNPhilly.com)