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Flyers continue to explore options on Atkinson; Sharks among suitors


The Philadelphia Flyers are continuing explore their options around veteran forward Cam Atkinson, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports.

Dreger adds that the San Jose Sharks have trade interest, but Atkinson, who has a 10-team no-trade list, is not keen on a move to the team. He reports Philadelphia is willing to retain salary on Atkinson, who could also be bought out or remain with the Flyers for next season.

Atkinson is signed through next season at a cap hit of $5.875 million. He posted 13 goals and 28 points in 70 games this season, but became a regular healthy scratch late in the year. A veteran of 770 NHL games, Atkinson has 249 goals and 480 points over his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Flyers.

Buying out the 35-year-old forward would leave the Flyers with a cap hit of $2.36 million for next season and add a cap charge of $1.76 million in 2025-26.

According to CapFriendly, the Flyers project to have just over $7 million in cap space - if Ryan Ellis' $6.25 million cap hit remains on LTIR - this off-season with 19 players under contract for next season. With that in mind, general manager Daniel Briere previously pointed to Atkinson and goaltender Cal Petersen as possible buyout candidates. 

"We're looking at every option," Briere told on June 6. "Because we're tight on cap space, we're still looking at every possible option in that direction. Both Cam Atkinson and Cal Petersen want to prove that they can still play in the NHL.

"So, we're evaluating all of that, but we haven't made a final decision yet."

Petersen, acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings last summer, spent the majority of this season in the American Hockey League. He appeared in five games with the Flyers, positing a 2-2-0 record with a .864 save percentage and a 3.90 goals-against average. He counted for $3.85 million against the Flyers cap last season while in the minors as the Flyers received some relief on his $5 million cap hit. He is signed through next season as well and a buyout would leave Philadelphia with a $1 million cap hit in the upcoming season and a $2 million charge the following year.

The Flyers could receive $4 million in relief if Ryan Johansen is placed on long-term injured reserve. The 31-year-old forward was waived by the Flyers shortly after being acquired as part of their return for Sean Walker ahead of the trade deadline. He did not play again after the trade because of a hip injury, which Briere said has left his status for next season uncertain.

"He's going through some kind of rehab," Briere said in that same availability. "He had an injection; claims he has a hip injury. At this point, honestly I'm not too sure where it's at. We're not sure if he's going to need surgery, or if he's going to be ready for camp. We don't really know at this point."

Johansen posted 13 goals and 23 points in 63 games with the Avalanche this season. He is entering the last of an eight-year, $64 million contract, though the Nashville Predators retained half of that in last year's trade that sent Johansen to Colorado.

The Flyers held a playoff spot for the majority of this past season before falling out of the picture in the final days of the season. The Flyers last reached the postseason in 2020.