The Definition of Insanity: Flyers Recall Mikhail Vorobyev

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

3 thoughts on “The Definition of Insanity: Flyers Recall Mikhail Vorobyev

  1. Twarynski and Aube-Kubel play wing. The four centers who are arguably ahead of him on the depth chart, Andreoff, Rubstov, Raffl and Patrick are injured. Laughton is playing very well at wing on the 3rd line and Vigneault doesn’t want to move him, so they need a center. Who exactly should they have called up? I do feel the criticism of Vorobyev’s pace and effort level is valid to a degree, but there aren’t any other options right now.

  2. Mikhail Vorobeyev is 22 years old. . He has14 points in 19 games this year and is plus 4. In 21 games with Flyers, he has 1 goal, 2 assists. In the 2017 U-20 World Junior Championships, he was bored the top center of the tournament as Russia’s first line center. In that tournament, he had ten points, ALL assists in seven games on a very good Russian team. Vorobeyev almost always looks to pass first in the offensive zone. He is similar to a point guard in basketball in that he tries to create team offense first, tarry than shoot at every opportunity. Teammates like playing with a “distributes” of the puck. If you get open, Vorobeyev will find you. Vorobeyev has something that all NHL teams covet in a center-SIZE. He is 6’2”, 195lbs and skates very well. He is also a 200 foot player that plays on the right side of the puck at all times.

    One more thing about Mikhail Vorobeyev. Three years ago, he spoke little English. As we have seen with German Rubtsov, this inability to communicate with teammates and coaches, plus the fact these kids are playing 7000 miles from home, away from their families, has made adjusting to life in North America extremely difficult. I tip my hat to Vorobeyev and Rubtsov too, for sticking it out as well as they have.

  3. John, what the heck have you been drinking? Yes, Mikhail Vorobeyev has struggled each time he’s been up with the Flyers, but the talent is there. He plays a very good defensive game and is good at breaking up opponent possessions, especially in the defensive end. His passing ability is very good and he is a pretty good replacement for Raffl on the checking line. He’s not coming up to be a scorer. Give Vorobeyev a break, after all, he’s only played 21 games as a Flyer. Last time I looked, the Flyers have jerked around a number of young players the last 2/3 years (Shayne Gostisbehere, Phillippe Myers and Travis Sanheim) because the weren’t quite ready, but they were close th being ready. Vorobeyev is similar. You’re right about his scoring ability though. He may never light it up as a goal scorer, but every team needs a great checking center. I think that’s how we looked at Sean Couturier just two years ago. I do see Vorobeyev as a player who can create scoring though with his passing ability. He showed that great talent when he played for the Russian World U-20 junior team just 3 years ago. He’s still considered a young player at 22 years old too, so relax and show some patience. What kind of sports reporter were you at 22? As I said, 21 games is not enough games to become a star in the NHL. I want to see a few more before I crucify this kid.

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