Mystery surrounds Jake Voracek’s ‘unable to participate’ status

Jake Voracek

VOORHEES – Tired of watching the same old mystery TV shows on Netflix and Amazon during your home-bound time?

Well, then just use your imagination and tune in to the new Flyers’ clue-chaser channel, starring Jake Voracek, who disappeared from training camp on Saturday without so much as leaving a note.

Instead, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher simply sent out a short, cryptic message stating the star right wing would be “unable to participate’’ in Saturday’s first scrimmage at the Skate Zone.

In normal times, some sort of injury suffered by a leading player such as Voracek would at least be acknowledged by the vague terms “upper body’’ or “lower body.’’

But these aren’t normal times.

In fact, the National Hockey League has gone so far as to set up a policy whereas teams do not have to report the nature of a medical absence at all.

Which, of course, leads to speculation about the possibility that a player might have tested positive for COVID-19.

If that were to be the case, and there’s no way of knowing whether it is or isn’t, a positive test would require a minimum of at least a two-week quarantine.

For what it’s worth, Voracek completed all on-ice activities on Friday, so if there’s an injury involved, it certainly wouldn’t appear to be something which took place during drills.

Later, coach Alain Vigneault deferred any comments on the matter to what Fletcher previously said in his statement.

“I can’t give you more than what Chuck sent out in the memo there,’’ Vigneault said.

Travis Sanheim said the players are being kept in the dark about Voracek’s status just as much as the media and the public.

“We’re kind of in the same position as you guys (media),’’ Sanheim said after day six of training camp. “I mean the situation we’re in nowadays, it’s definitely different and a lot of unknowns.’’

Aside from the Voracek situation, no Flyer player has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We’re just taking it day by day, I don’t think we can do anything differently,’’ Sanheim said.

Scott Laughton knows the Flyers are taking every safety precaution possible to keep the Skate Zone safe. Players are tested constantly.

Laughton pointed out there’s still quite a bit of time until the first round-robin game on Aug. 2.

“There’s no concern,’’ he said. “We’ve got lots of time until Toronto and we’ll all be good to go.’’

Voracek, 30, enjoyed a bit of a bounce-back season, going from last year’s minus-16 to a plus-14 this campaign.

He’s been skating on a first line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. His eight-year, $66-million contract runs through 2023-24.


>Gostisbehere, Konecny score in scrimmage


Shayne Gostisbehere and Travis Konecny scored goals in Saturday’s scrimmage, won by the “B’’ team, 3-2, over the “A’’ team.

“I definitely liked the intensity; the execution and the decision-making is going to get better,’’ Vigneault said. “This is the first scrimmage these guys have had in a long time.

“There were obviously some good plays made, some decisions that will improve. But overall I liked the intensity of our group. I believe that day-by-day we’re going to get better.’’

Vigneault liked Joel Farabee’s performance.

“There’s no doubt he’s got some jump,’’ the coach said. “He made some good plays on the ice, he’s always in good position when he doesn’t have it (the puck). He’s come ready for this camp. For a first scrimmage today, I was happy with what I saw.’’

Vigneault has two scrimmages and three practices planned for the upcoming week and said he plans to tinker with line combinations and D-pairings to get the right fit.




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About Wayne Fish 2471 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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