PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Cam Atkinson made quite the first impression. At least for, perhaps, the Philadelphia Flyers’ most famous member, Gritty.
Shortly after the Flyers acquired the 32-year-old from Columbus for Jakub Voracek in the club’s latest blockbuster trade, Atkinson was introduced to the Philadelphia media in a video conference call Saturday, and he did so wearing a Gritty T-shirt.READ MORE: In-Person Classes To Resume Lindley Academy Charter School On Monday After COVID-19 Outbreak
“Actually,’ it’s my wife’s,” Atkinson said. “We spent a couple of weeks last summer at the [Scott] Hartnell residence My wife loves Gritty. We couldn’t leave Hartsy’s without a Gritty T-shirt. Everything’s all aligning perfectly. … We’re ready for this and couldn’t be more excited.”
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 24, 2021
Of course, Atkinson’s T-shirt didn’t escape Gritty’s eyes.
The Flyers’ mascot is already a big fan of the former 41-goal scorer.
I like this guy already pic.twitter.com/YhQWv8gVtIREAD MORE: Eagles DE Bandon Graham Suffers Achilles Injury, Sources Tell Derrick Gunn
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) July 24, 2021
“I like this guy already,” Gritty wrote in a tweet.
Atkinson said he felt a “mix of emotions” after the Blue Jackets traded him to the Flyers. The veteran spent his entire 10-year NHL career in Columbus but said he “couldn’t be more excited to join the Flyers organization.” He feels he’ll “fit in very well, know a couple guys on the team already.”
“I played at BC with Kevin Hayes. I am good friends with [James van Riemsdyk] and know obviously [Claude] Giroux as well,” he said. “One of my best friends is Scotty Hartnell. He just rants and raves about what a special place Philly is. As you can see, already got my Gritty shirt, so I’m ready to rock and roll.”
Atkinson has 213 goals and 402 points over his career. Last season, he scored 15 goals and 34 points in 59 games with Columbus. He was also tied for second in the league with four shorthanded goals.
A two-time All-Star, Atkinson has four seasons left on his contract at a $5.875 million cap hit. Voracek has three seasons left on his contract, carrying an $8.25 million cap hit. The Flyers freed up about $2.4 million in cap space over the next three seasons. According to CapFriendly, the Flyers currently have nearly $12.4 million in projected cap space.MORE NEWS: Missed Opportunities Contribute To Eagles 17-11 Loss To San Francisco 49ers
Free agency begins on Wednesday.