You’d think forward Jakub Voracek would be in relatively good spirits after beating the Flyers’ cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in convincing fashion Friday night. Instead, Voracek, who logged two assists in the winning effort, unloaded on beat writer Mike Sielski, dressing down the longtime Philadelphia Inquirer reporter in a vicious post-game exchange.
Responding to a seemingly innocuous question about the Flyers’ condensed schedule amid COVID-19, the 31-year-old went on the offensive, attacking Sielski in a profanity-laced outburst. “It doesn’t matter what I say, Mike. You’re going to write f--king s--t every time,” said a visibly annoyed Voracek. “I wasn’t even going to answer your question because you are such a weasel it’s not even funny.”
Many have suggested Voracek’s hostility stems from an earlier Sielski column that criticized he and teammate Claude Giroux. In a story filed to the Inquirer over a year ago (it ran on October 31, 2019), Sielski alleged Voracek laughed when coach Alan Vigneault called him out for his uninspired play and lack of leadership. Voracek, who has been with Philadelphia since 2011, seemed to confirm this suspicion on Twitter, alleging Sielski has avoided him in the locker room ever since for fear of the very confrontation that took place over Zoom Friday night.
For his part, Sielski didn’t seem particularly fazed by the incident, insisting he will continue to cover the Flyers with a “critical eye” in spite of his uncomfortable encounter with Voracek. The Czech-born winger led the Flyers with 44 assists last season and was also among the team leaders in +/- (+14). Turns out, he also holds a hell of a grudge.