Trade: Flyers land Atkinson, save money; Blue Jackets bring back Voracek

Trade: Flyers land Atkinson, save money; Blue Jackets bring back Voracek
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Apparently the Flyers and Blue Jackets weren’t done after already making some big trades. In the latest trade, the Flyers received Cam Atkinson, while the Blue Jackets brought back Jakub Voracek.

Trade: Flyers get Atkinson, Blue Jackets bring back Voracek

In other trades, there were picks and/or prospects to consider. At the moment, it appears that this is an increasingly rare “one-for-one” deal.

Crucially, reports indicate that there was no salary retention involved. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli ranked among those to report that about the Voracek – Atkinson trade.

If true, the gut response is that this trade is a nice win for the Flyers. Consider their contracts:

  • Cam Atkinson, 32, carries a $5.875M cap hit through 2024-25 (four seasons).
  • Jake Voracek, 31, has a much larger $8.25M AAV. That said, his contract expires after three seasons (2023-24). Also, the difference between the two in actual salary isn’t as large as the cap hit disparity.

Those salary cap details matter because, while Voracek and Atkinson are different players, their overall impacts are comparable. They’re two wingers who bring quite a bit to the table, though both are getting older:

New-look Flyers trade for Atkinson

Truly, it’s been an offseason of change for the Flyers, just through trades. (Might they have some plans in free agency, too?)

Earlier, the Flyers gave up on Nolan Patrick, taking a fascinating swing with Ryan Ellis. While that trade has nice upside, the Flyers are gambling big on Rasmus Ristolainen being better than his underlying stats have argued.

After the Voracek – Atkinson trade, the Flyers have about $12.5M in cap space, according to Cap Friendly. That room could go fast, being that the Flyers have key RFAs in Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim. (They’ll probably want to invest in a backup goalie, too? Maybe?)

Time will tell if the Flyers are better after all of these trades. But they’ll certainly look different after what was often a profoundly miserable season.

Blue Jackets – Voracek reunion

Back in 2007, the Blue Jackets selected Jakub Voracek seventh overall.

Columbus Blue Jackets 2007 Voracek Atkinson trade
We were all so much more innocent, and fresh-faced.(Photo by Getty Images)

During his first run with the Blue Jackets, Voracek played in 241 games, scoring 39 goals and 134 points. We didn’t see Voracek truly blossom until he was traded to the Flyers, where he became a deadly scorer (and increasingly looked a lot like Claude Giroux).

The Jeff Carter trade didn’t just land the Flyers Voracek, either. The Flyers used the first-rounder from that deal to draft Sean Couturier.

(So, uh, the Blue Jackets might lose two Jakub Voracek trades with the Flyers? Ouch.)

For all we know, everyone — Voracek, Atkinson, Blue Jackets, and Flyers — might benefit from this fresh start. Like the Flyers, the 2021-22 Blue Jackets will look very different from the 2020-21 model.

Just a day ago, the Blue Jackets traded Seth Jones to the Blackhawks in a mega deal. During the trade deadline, they also landed key futures by selling high on Nick Foligno and David Savard. With John Tortorella also out of town, this Columbus team figures to be very different.

Of all the Blue Jackets trades and changes, adding Voracek for Atkinson feels the least “mandatory.” He might provide some offensive pop in a season where that may be hard to find, though.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.