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Philadelphia Flyers Trade Jakub Voracek Back to Columbus Blue Jackets for Cam Atkinson




The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired forward Cam Atkinson from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Jakub Voracek as the teams swap offensive wingers.

There was no salary withheld in the one-on-one deal.

Atkinson, 32, spent all 10 years of his NHL career with the Blue Jackets after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He has 213 goals and 189 assists in 627 games, including a season of 41 goals in 2018-19. His goal count has fallen over the past two seasons, falling below a goal per 60 minutes of play for the first time in his career.

Voracek, who turns 32 in August, began his career with Columbus, which drafted him seventh overall in 2007. He had 134 points in 241 games in three years with the Blue Jackets before they traded him to the Flyers in a deal for Jeff Carter in 2011.

He spent 10 years in Philadelphia, scoring 738 points in 968 games while playing important minutes on their highest score line. But his ice age has waned for three consecutive seasons. General Manager Chuck Fletcher said he and Voracek discussed his future with the team, including leaving him unprotected in the design of the Seattle expansion.

“I see a lot of paths where Jake would be part of our team next year, and still be a valuable, contributing member of our team. And there certainly could be ways he’s not,” Fletcher said before the trade.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen said the team was delighted to “welcome Jake Voracek back to the Blue Jackets’ family.”

“He is a powerful, dynamic attacking player who will make an important contribution to our club,” said Kekalainen. “Adding such a player costs money and I would like to thank Cam Atkinson for his many contributions to the Blue Jackets and Columbus community over the past 10 years.”

The trade also gives the Blue Jackets a salary-cap advantage in the long run. While Voracek has a significant cap hit of $8.25 million average annual value — more than Atkinson’s $5.875 million AAV — he has just three years left on his contract, with Atkinson still four years left. In terms of actual dollars, Atkinson has $21.1 million left on his deal, while Voracek will earn $22.5 million.

Atkinson said he had no idea a transaction could take place. He said he was preparing for his son Declan’s third birthday celebrations on Saturday morning when Kekalainen called him to inform him that he had traded.

But in hindsight, with so many of his friends and the team’s veteran players traded in recent months, Atkinson feels like the Blue Jackets were heading in a different direction. “It looked like the band was breaking up. I wasn’t expecting this,” he said.

Fortunately, he had something to change into before his encounter with the Philadelphia media: his wife’s Gritty T-shirt, featuring the Flyers mascot.




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