The Blue Jackets’ longest-tenured player, a familiar face, is returning to Columbus.
Who was the Flyers’ new player? Cam Atkinson has fallen in love with Philly’s orange-bearded favorite.
On Saturday, the Flyers traded Jakub Voracek for Atkinson to the Blue Jackets. This was the first major trade of the second day in the NHL draft. The offseason is expected to be busy with more moves.
Atkinson showed his loyalty to his new team immediately, wearing a Gritty T shirt on media Zoom just 30 minutes after the Flyers shipped the undersized winger to them. Scott Hartnell, his best friend and ex-Flyers forward, gifted the shirt to Atkinson’s wife.
Atkinson stated, “Everything is perfectly aligned.” “We are ready for this. We couldn’t be more thrilled.
Voracek turns 32 on August 31. He returns to the team with which he was drafted in 2007. This is after a long-awaited split with the Flyers. Voracek played with them for the past 10 seasons, scoring 604 points in 727 regular season games. He posted a link on Twitter to Warren Zevon’s song, “Keep Me In Your Heart” after the trade.
After scoring 213 goals in 627 NHL games, Atkinson has left the Blue Jackets as the only NHL team he was ever with.
Atkinson stated, “I didn’t ask for a trading deal, but I think this could have turned out better.” It gets to the point where losing isn’t fun. It is hard to predict what the Blue Jackets will do this year. It is quite obvious what they are trying to do. It was difficult to watch my best friends leave.
Over the past four month, Columbus has traded Atkinson and Seth Jones, David Savard, and former captain Nick Foligno.
Jarmo Kekalainen, Columbus general manager, stated that this was a significant deal for the club. He is an offensive player who is powerful and dynamic, which will make a big contribution to our club. Cam Atkinson’s contributions over the past decade to the Blue Jackets community and the Columbus community are pricey.
This is Philadelphia’s second major deal in two days, following the acquisition of Rasmus Ristolainen (defenseman) from Buffalo for No. This year’s pick is 14, and the 2023 second-rounder. Chuck Fletcher, GM of General Motors, saved over $2 million by trading Voracek for Atkinson after taking on Ristolainen’s large contract.
The Sabres have continued their organizational fire sale, trading Sam Reinhart, a disgruntled forward, to Florida in exchange for Devon Levi, a goaltending prospect, and the Panthers’ 2022 First-round pick. Reinhart, a five-time 20 goal-scorer, has scored 134 goals and 295 point in 454 games — all during the regular season. This is his seventh year with Buffalo.
Reinhart, a 26 year-old restricted-free agent, will have a chance to make a new start with a playoff contender.
“Sam has established himself to be one of the top playmaking scorers within the league, so we are delighted to be able add him to the Panthers lineup,” Panthers General Manager Bill Zito stated. “His competitiveness, hunger for success and willingness to win will seamlessly fit into the culture that we are creating in South Florida.”
Kevyn Adams, Sabres General Manager, might still be in the midst of some deals. Adams is also looking to trade Captain Jack Eichel in his bid to rebuild a team that finished last eight years ago and was in the midst a 10-year NHL drought.
The Colorado Avalanche signed Cale Makar, a top defenseman, to a $54million, six-year contract. This will add $9 million to the salary cap for the 2026-27 season.
This deal follows the Chicago acquisition of Jones from Columbus, which extends the star defenseman’s contract for $76million over eight seasons. Dallas also inks Miro Heiskanen to an eight-year contract worth $67.6million.
Makar was a point per game player last season, his second in NHL. The 22-year old has scored 94 points in 101 of his regular-season games. Makar will make $8 million next year and $9 million the following year. He’ll then earn $10.6 million, $8.7million, $8.7million, $8.7million, $8.7million, and $6.7million as part of a contract which takes into consideration the anticipated rise in the salary cap.
The second round was underway when Edmonton signed a $4.4 million, 2-year deal with Mike Smith, a 39-year-old goaltender, while the New York Rangers bought out Tony DeAngelo, a defenseman.