Flyers trade Jakub Voracek to Blue Jackets for Cam Atkinson

COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 8: Cam Atkinson #13 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena on May 8, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Cam Atkinson is a Flyer. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Aggressively delivering on two vastly different mandates this offseason, it seems only fitting that the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets have found each other.

In a deal confirmed by the teams, the Blue Jackets have traded Cam Atkinson to the Flyers for Jakub Voracek in an exchange of high-priced forwards. 

Atkinson is entering the fourth season on a seven-year contract worth $5.875 million annually. The trade will preserve just short of $2.5 million in annual cap savings for Philadelphia with Columbus on the hook for Voracek’s $8.25 million salary for another three seasons. 

It seems like a decisive win, first and foremost, for Atkinson, who leaves behind a Blue Jackets team that is quickly disbanding as part of a rebuild. Avoiding retaining any salary on Voracek’s deal, it’s clear the Flyers did well, too, adding a well-versed and cheaper forward as part of their offseason retooling. 

It’s hard to see the incentive for the Blue Jackets, other than trimming down on one season of contractual commitment. They have just a single contract on the payroll beyond 2023-24 season. 

Atkinson was limited to 15 goals and 34 points for the Blue Jackets last season, while Voracek had nine goals and 43 points in a difficult season. 

Philadelphia has added Rasmus Ristolainen, Ryan Ellis and now Atkinson, while dealing away Nolan Patrick, Shayne Gostisbehere, and now Voracek in what’s been a fascinating offseason. 

Similarly active, the Blue Jackets have shed two foundational members of the franchise in Atkinson and Seth Jones to expedite their ongoing rebuild, bringing in NHL-ready prospects Adam Boqvist and Jake Bean in addition to three first-round selections in Friday night’s draft. 

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