Looking back at the Cam Atkinson – Jakub Voracek trade
We have finally reached the halfway mark on the 2021-22 NHL season. It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Flyers are an absolute dumpster fire, but lets pause for a second and look back at the Flyers-Blue Jackets trade from last summer in which Jakub Voracek was sent to Columbus in return for Cam Atkinson.
From the second the trade happened, the contract situation was a major plus for the Flyers, with Atkinson’s deal much more manageable. However, there was a concern that Voracek’s production would be hard to match. With both players being 32 years old, the move itself was a core-tinkering move that was going to change the makeup of each team regardless.
The Flyers are abysmal this season, but Cam Atkinson has definitely been one of the few bright spots on the team’s roster. Atkinson has already surpassed his goal (15) and point (35) total from last year, doing so in 12 less games.
Atkinson’s shoot-first mentality has always been the best part of his game, but it’s also refreshing to see a player that is essentially a Swiss Army Knife on the ice, being used is all situations, whether it’s a power play, 5-on-5, penalty kill, or overtime situation. You name it, Cam Atkinson can do the job.
With three shorthanded goals already this year Atkinson is just one shy of tying his career high. He is truly a responsible, gritty player that you can tell played under John Torterella.
The chemistry with Claude Giroux is meshing perfectly and it’s nice to see Giroux have someone who insists on shooting any time he’s given the opportunity.
Voracek was always known as a playmaker (and a damn good one at that) and his one goal on this season cements that fully.
Contract term and Cap hit
Jakub Voracek is signed for three more seasons at a cap hit of $8.25 million whereas Cam Atkinson is signed for four more seasons at a cap hit of $5.8 million.
Saving $2.4 million may not seem too helpful on the surface but seeing the year Atkinson is putting together and the chemistry he’s building with the team makes it a complete win for the Philadelphia Flyers. Of course the term is slightly longer, time will tell if that’s a positive or a negative, especially with major changes likely on the way for the Flyers roster.
It also leads me to wonder, what if the Flyers held onto Voracek another year before moving his deal? Who knows if they’d even be able to get a Cam Atkinson esque return if that was the case.
Cam Atkinson: Natural Fit
Just looking at the surface level, Atkinson was hunting for houses in Delco, and has been on record saying he “was born to wear a Flyers jersey,” already making him an extremely likeable player.
Cam Atkinson: “I was born to wear the #Flyers jersey.”— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 20, 2022
It’s also admirable that Atkinson came into a negative situation in Philadelphia but has still put everything into his play and the team’s play. There has been multiple occasions of Atkinson in the postgame press conferences saying guys need to look in the mirror and handle adversity. To hear that from an established newcomer is telling, and definitely a “locker room guy” that you want on your team.
Atkinson: Guys need to look in the mirror. Need to fight a little bit more.— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) January 7, 2022
Atkinson has been one of the only bright spots this year and has been a wonderful addition to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Did the Flyers win this trade?
While the jury is still out, it’s shaping up to look that way.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Flyers