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Flyers to Buy Out Cam Atkinson, Create More Cap Space for 2024

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(Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Friday morning that forward Cam Atkinson has been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.

Atkinson, 35, just finished his second season with the Flyers after missing the entirety of the 2022-23 season due to a season-ending neck injury. Arriving in Philadelphia in 2021, Atkinson finished his Flyers career with 36 goals, 42 assists, and 78 points in 143 games played.

The longtime Columbus Blue Jackets forward last scored a goal on Jan. 23 in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but failed to score a single point in the final three months of game action that followed.

“When it comes to someone with the accomplishments and character of Cam, this was an exceptionally tough decision to make. Throughout his time with the Flyers, Cam has displayed an incredible work ethic and level of professionalism that is a true credit to him as a player and person,” Flyers general manager Danny Briere said in a statement regarding Atkinson. “I’ve witnessed firsthand the amount of effort, dedication, and perseverance he went through during an incredibly tough rehabilitation process in order to come back and be a leader for our team on and off the ice. I would like to thank Cam for all he has put into raising the standard of our team. Cam will always have a place in the Flyers organization, and we wish all the success for him and his family in the future.”

By buying out the final year of Atkinson’s seven-year, $41.13 million contract, the Flyers saved $3.516 million in cap space this season, but will lose $1.758 million in cap space next season.

Briere told Philly Hockey Now that Cal Petersen and Ryan Johansen were other players who were options to help create cap space in this way but, ultimately, Atkinson was the easiest to part with, with respect to the Flyers’ roster composition. Petersen figures to be the backup to Alexei Kolosov with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season, while Johansen remains injured and cannot be bough out.

It’s possible that Johansen lands on LTIR if and when necessary, alongside defenseman Ryan Ellis.

The Flyers now have the necessary funds to finish re-signing players and add players in free agency on Monday if they wish.

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