Notable Trades and Contract Signings – July 24, 2021

by | Jul 24, 2021 | News, NHL, Rumors | 19 comments

Here’s a listing of the notable trades and free-agent signings during the second day of the 2021 NHL Draft. This will be updated throughout the day.

The Sam Reinhart trade reported early this morning is official. The Buffalo Sabres trade Reinhart to the Florida Panthers for prospect goaltender Devon Levi and a 2022 first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s one year away from UFA eligibility. That could explain why the Sabres got a prospect rather than a player as part of the return, though they did get a first-rounder as well.

The Philadelphia Flyers trade Jakub Voracek to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Cam Atkinson. The Flyers did not retain any of Voracek’s salary in this transaction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers and Blue Jackets are among the busiest teams this weekend in the trade market as they continue shaking up their respective rosters. Voracek and Atkinson were both reportedly seeking a change of scenery. They are still reliable top-six wingers though their best seasons are likely behind them.

Voracek is returning to the team where his NHL career began. He was traded by the Jackets to the Flyers prior to the 2011 NHL Draft as part of the deal that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus. Now 31, he has three years left on his contract with an annual average value of $8.25 million.

Atkinson, 32, spent his entire 10-season NHL career to his point with the Blue Jackets. He has four years remaining on his deal with an annual cap hit of $5.875 million. The Flyers are freeing up $2.75 million over the next three years.

The Colorado Avalanche sign defenseman Cale Makar to a six-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quite the pay raise for the 22-year-old blueliner coming out of his entry-level contract. He quickly became one of the league’s top rearguards, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2019-20 and was a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy this season.

I’m only surprised that it wasn’t more. Some observers estimated he could receive over $10 million annually. Given his youth and talent, this contract will probably age very well for the Avalanche.

The Edmonton Oilers sign goaltender Mike Smith to a two-year, $4.4 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith played well for the Oilers over the last two seasons…when healthy. The 39-year-old has had injury issues in recent years. He missed 12 games at the start of this season with an undisclosed injury. The annual cap hit is affordable but a two-year deal for a goalie who turns 40 next March seems one year too long.


  1. Bluejackets fan here. After thinking this one thru, it’s kind of a decent trade. Jarmo and JD might want to lock the office door cause this ain’t gonna sit well with the fanbase. Atkinson is probably the most beloved Jacket ever.

  2. Wow great deal for the Avs thought it would be way more after the Jones signing

    • Proving once again just how much the Leafs overpaid their core coming out of their entry level deals.
      Despite the lack of tax advantage the Leafs compensated by paying them all up front on Bonus day every July 1. That alone is a great perk.
      And yet we have stood back and watched similar talent sign for less over and over.
      Before you cite the lack of cap movement for years to come, consider that the players could have bridged if they wanted to and that would have brought them to the point of Cap movement again.
      Sorry Leafs, you mismanaged. Heck you didn’t even get term from Matthews despite giving him the money. Five years? They bought one year of free agency?? Yikes.
      Watch Points next deal and he will STILL make less than Marner.
      Maybe, just maybe, these other players need to get their fathers involved in their negotiations next time???
      By the way….unrelated…..Hey Oilers…..Remember the Lucic contract??? Apparently not. Just saying.

  3. Ottawa’s draft picks so far

    #10 Tyler Boucher (Ranked #29 by McKenzie)
    #39 Zack Ostapchuk (Ranked #95 by McKenzie)
    #49 Benjamin Roger (6’4 with 6 points in 35 OHL games – Ranked #89 by McKenzie)

    Pierre McGuire masterclass 🔥Oops

    • Come on Obe, I should hardly think that given his short tenure with the team that McGuire would have ANY input on draft selection.
      Hate on my friend but come on.
      Lets give Dorion a little credit. Despite all of us laughing at him for years he has finally assembled a good squad of youth and this will be a really competitive team for years……………..(until they want to be paid coming out of their entry level deals and the owner gets involved).

    • If McKenzie is so perfect why isn’t he a highly-paid GM in the NHL? Or at least a highly-paid scout. Yeah, he’s good at what he does – up to a point. But he’s far from perfect.

      Dislike his manner if you will, but McGuire has likely forgotten more about all aspect of hockey than you or McKenzie will ever know.

      • Well George Mackenzie doesn’t make the list by performing player evaluations himself.He compiles it by having scouts around the league submit their draft rankings. So I guess all the Scouts he canvases could combine to be one massive GM team.

      • And 6′ 5″ D Ben Roger didn’t get to play one game this past season as the OHL shut down. So naturally any “consensus” in his case was flawed. This is where a team trusts their scouting over and above what others – who may have seen him once or twice – assess.

    • You do realize Mackenzie and many others reported often on the lack of consensus on this draft. Boucher had covid and an MCL injury limiting his playing time but the Sens saw enough to like him.

      Picking a guy ranked by many to go in the first round or early second with the 10th pick isn’t really off the boards.

    • Boucher had Covid and a MCL injury limiting his playing time during the covid season which saw many events canceled. The Sens saw enough of him to like him. The fact a team picks a player slotted in a higher draft spot by a fair margin this years draft should not come as a surprise or seen as off the board type selection.

    • I just copied and pasted I thought same as you hard to blame Pierre but I personally don’t care for first pick was definitely a reach take care enjoy the day.

  4. There should be no one D over $9m AAV in my opinion .E Karlsson and to a lesser extent Doughty.are mistakes financially. A couple of million each the the team could certainly use now
    You are high . Way too high.

    Voracek is a better player than Atkinson. Bigger, more physical and more durable . Both can score . But a Nice move on some salary by Flyers

  5. Stupid Chuck Fletcher. Gave up 10 turnovers per game and about a goal a game in minus players and all he got back was Shane Falco, finally! They now have 3 players who will actually hit someone. This should be their most exiting team in a few years. Hopefully the locker room leadership and effort on the ice changes with the new players. At least they will look like they care and are trying, hopefully.

  6. Anyone feeling that the Leafs have peaked by way of talent acquisition?
    No draft picks to speak of. No young talent other than Robertson/Sandin/Brooks that looks to step in or be trade worthy for years.
    By way of succession planning it is time for them to adhere to their own words years ago and stop trading off first round picks time and time again.
    Succession planning is vital in a salary cap structure and we are not in a position to do so with this current approach.
    Oh well, one more season under the Shanascam and we can move on with our newest management team. Bring on the Hunter brothers.

    • You could always move to Buffalo?

      • You might see a Cup in Buffalo before Toronto.

  7. Watching this draft on Sportsnet and man, I’m going to have to change my cable package to pick it up in French.

    No news on Canadian teams trading draft picks, stocking up for later or next year.

    Inordinate time on USNDP and every pick projecting to be in the NHL.

    I get the NHL/ESPN but is it unreasonable to have a Canadian desk working the draft who actually follow it and comment on the picks as they are being made with a Canadacentric slant?

    It feels like a football draft for hockey players.

  8. Tony Luftman- hosing the NHL draft, now working at NHL tv, background in basketball and radio.

    Asking if QBs are most important players and are drafted in first round, how come goalies aren’t drafted 1st round…why…I don’t get it!!!!

    Seriously? He doesn’t know why? Why would he?

    Such an obvious topic to discuss during the NHL entry draft…….for a basketball guy.

    • Most goalies take years to develop and even then many of the top picks do not turn out to be superstar goalies. If you can pick up enough young goalies there is always a chance that one will shine more than the others as they develop.