San Jose Sharks reportedly showing interest in Cam Atkinson

The Sharks need to get to the cap floor and reportedly have an interest in Cam Atkinson.
Philadelphia Flyers v Columbus Blue Jackets
Philadelphia Flyers v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

It is no secret that the Flyers would love to shed some salary cap space. If there is any way they can dump salary in order to sign some free-agent talent, like a Sam Reinhart or someone more realistic, they'd do it. They don't have a lot of room to maneuver. One way they'd be able to free up some cap space would be by trading one of their more highly paid players. According to some rumors, one team is interested in just such a player.

Enter the San Jose Sharks. Since dropping the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals and the Western Conference Finals in 2019, the Sharks have struggled. They have missed the playoffs five years in a row. What was once a powerhouse has become a shell of what they used to be. Sound familiar?

This team has fallen on hard times. The few good players they had were traded off. They have the first overall draft pick this year and should select Macklin Celebrini. They will also be selecting 14th overall thanks to Pittsburgh sending San Jose this pick for Erik Karlsson. Much like the Flyers, they are hoping to roll out a bevy of young stars over the next few years. Celebrini will need someone to help acclimate himself to the NHL.

More importantly, the team needs to add cap space. As of today, the team has over $36 million in cap space. They need to take on salaries. Here's where the Flyers can help.

San Jose is reportedly interested in Cam Atkinson

One of the players the Flyers would love to move is Cam Atkinson. Atkinson's days as a top power forward are gone. After spending the 2022-23 season injured, he came back strong. He scored six goals in the first 10 games of the season. However, he'd score just seven the rest of the way. He's clearly lost a step. He still has the hockey smarts but is not someone that can be depended on to score 25+ goals a year anymore.

With a career as stellar as his, a trade for Atkinson makes sense for San Jose. Who better to mentor Celebrini than someone like Atkinson? If they took on his salary, that would be wonderful. Daniel Briere probably won't get a lot back in the deal, perhaps a fourth-round pick or lower. The Flyers would likely have to throw a sweetener to get the Sharks to take on his entire deal. However, the removal of the salary from the Flyers' books would be far greater than anything returned in substance. To be honest, even just dumping his salary on San Jose for a seventh round pick would be better than the long term repercussions of buying his contract out.

However, there is one sticking point. It's fairly important. Atkinson has a no-trade clause in his contract. There are ten teams he can block a trade to. It is unknown if San Jose is one of them. We also do not know if he would waive that clause. However, he may want a change of scenery at this point. He's not a top-six player for Philly anymore. He could do that in San Jose.

Sending Atkinson to San Jose makes sense for both teams if Atkinson is willing. More than that, it gives a former all-star the dignity of being wanted again.