Cam Atkinson’s new seven-year, $41.125MM contract with the Blue Jackets gives him a full no-trade clause from now until June 15th, 2020, reports Steve Gorten of the Columbus Dispatch. After that time, he can block a trade to ten teams until the end of his deal in 2025. He joins Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, and Sergei Bobrovsky (who all have no-move clauses) as players with trade protection. GM Jarmo Kekalainen acknowledged that if they weren’t able to reach an extension with Atkinson, they likely would have wound up trading him to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan Division:
- Winger Patric Hornqvist is the most prominent of Pittsburgh’s pending unrestricted free agents this summer but despite that, GM Jim Rutherford told Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it’s unlikely that they will work on an extension during the season: “That would be something that’s a little uncharacteristic for me. For the most part, I wait until the end of the season.” Hornqvist is off to a good start to the season with 12 points (7-5-12) in 18 games and has scored 21 or more goals in each of the last four seasons; that type of consistency is something that will be coveted if he makes it to the open market.
- Although he is waiver-exempt and is a healthy scratch for the fourth game of the last five, the Devils have not discussed sending center Pavel Zacha to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton, reports North Jersey’s Andrew Gross (Twitter link). The 20-year-old is off to a quiet start this season with five points (2-3-5) in 15 games and with Travis Zajac now back in the lineup, finding ice time at a fairly-crowded center position may be tough to do for Zacha in the short-term.
- The Flyers announced that winger Jordan Weal is dealing with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. This marks the second time he has had an upper-body issue this season. In his first full NHL campaign, Weal has recorded two goals and four assists in 17 contests while averaging just under 14 minutes per game of playing time.