Albert Einstein once defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” For the Philadelphia Flyers, the definition of insanity is calling up Mikhail Vorobyev and expecting a different result.
In Tuesday’s game against Toronto, Michael Raffl broke his pinky finger. This leaves him sidelined for the next four weeks. Obviously, Flyers called up a player from Lehigh Valley. Instead of going with an individual that proved to be serviceable in Andy Andreoff or Carsen Twarysnki, or giving Nicolas Aube-Kubel another shot, Philadelphia decided to go the Vorobyev route once again.
Traveling back to the beginning of the 2018-19 season, a lot of hype surrounded Mikhail Vorobyev. He impressed the Flyers during training camp and the preseason. This resulted in an NHL roster spot to start the year. Unfortunately, the preseason excitement did not translate into regular-season success.
In 15 games throughout the season, Vorobyev averaged a measly 9:20 a game. He managed just two points in that time. Additionally, his possession numbers flirted around awful. Clearly, training camp and preseason could be chalked up as a fluke.
Even with an abundance of promising youth in Lehigh Valley, Vorobyev still received an opportunity at redemption this season. Unfortunately, the former fourth-round pick is showing more of the same. In six games, Vorobyev has accomplished close to nothing with the Flyers. One assist gave fans a slight bit of hope. However, that was incredibly short-lived. Once again, his ice time in the NHL is south of ten minutes and possession metrics are brutal.
Still, Philadelphia keeps giving him an opportunity. Now, maybe he isn’t a complete liability on the ice. However, he provides little-to-no upside either. Neither skill or energy is consistent. Sadly, he just takes up space. Continuing to call him up prevents others from possibly seizing an opportunity. To put it simply, that can’t be happening.
In the AHL, Vorobyev is a serviceable player. In an organization with a depleted farm system, he’s even an emergency NHLer. With the Flyers, however, he’s a pipedream of the past. Recalling him to the NHL is just Philadelphia’s way of playing with insanity.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
John Gove is a full-time elementary educator with a passion for sports media. He has covered various aspects of hockey and basketball for various outlets over the past five years. Currently, he serves as a contributor and editor for Philly Sports Network focussing on prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system and Villanova Men’s Basketball. John also serves as a co-host of Pod Street Bullies, PSN’s flagship Flyers podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @PodStreetGove.