2023-24 Player Spotlight: Joel Farabee/ Cam Atkinson

With the 2023-24 NHL Regular Season bearing down on us. The Flyers will open the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 12th in Columbus. We here at EOP will spotlight a player every week. This week we will look at two Flyers players. Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson.

Joel Farabee

Farabee had a head-turning rookie campaign in 2019-20. The Syracuse NY product burst onto the scene and quickly became a fan favorite. He registered 8 goals, 13 assists, and 21 points, for a +/- rating of plus 6. Over his first three years in the league, he registered 45 goals, 48 assists, and 93 points, for a +/- rating of minus 6, with 170 games played.

In 2022-23 an injury during the offseason put his start to the season in jeopardy. Farabee did start the season on time but the injury he sustained dogged him for the majority of the first half of the season. He scored only 9 goals, and 16 assists, for 25 points through January. Then he scored 7 goals, and 8 assists, for 15 points through February March, and April.

Farabee fell out of the good graces of coach Tortorella as well. He responded with a very positive end to his season. Another example of a player who took the criticism and worked on his game to be better. The result coupled with more time to get his skating legs under him resulted in a strong finish to the 2022-23 season for Farabee.

Farabee is a critical piece for the Flyer’s future. On a team that lacks a superstar and is in a rebuild Farabee is a key part of the Flyers for the future. Finding the exact role for him will be priority number one as the Flyers need to put him in the right situation for maximum success.

As a Left Wing, a position that the Flyers covet, Farabee needs to work. What line and with what linemates does Farbee best fit? Where does he fit in the Power Play, and Pk? No doubt he figures in the future a superstar probably not a solid role player much like in the mold of Simon Gagne, and Mickael Renberg absolutely. Torterlla needs to figure out how to make the best out of this central New York hockey player.     

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Cam Atkinson

On June 24, 2021, the Flyers dealt “never really amounted to what we thought he would be” forward Jake Voracek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for right winger Cam Atkinson. I remember being super excited about the addition of Atkinson. I thought Atkinson’s speed and creativity with the puck would better complement Claude Giroux’s style of play. As we attempted one last shot at capitalizing on Giroux’s skill set. In Atkinson’s first season here, he registered 23 goals, 27 assists, 50 points for a -2 rating. He plays mostly on the first line with G and Sean Couturier. The 2021-22 season was a disaster for the Flyers and Atkinson. With the trading of Giroux and the firing of Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault Atkinson’s future and his role with the Flyers was somewhat in the air.

The Flyers then hired Atkinson’s former head coach John Tortorella. The two were together in Columbus from 2015 through 2021. In that time together Atkinson amassed 149 goals, 136 assists, 408 games, 280 points, and a minus 3 overall. Their best season together was 2018-19 when Atkinson scored 41 goals, and 28 assists, for 69 points. The Blue Jackets made the playoffs but lost in the first round that season.

During the summer of 2022, Atkinson complained of pain in his neck. After many tests, it was determined that he had a herniated disc in his C6-C7 which would cost him the entire 2022-23 season. All has been well for him this summer. He has reported that he feels the best he has ever felt there seems no doubt that Atkinson will be ready for the 2023-24 season.

Atkinson is a very good player and on a team with no superstars, Atkinson will be asked to be that very good player. No doubt he will take his place on the right side of the 1st line. Atkinson should provide a young Flyers team with not only his veteran leadership but something the Flyers sorely missed last year a goal scorer. Under contract through the 2025-26 season with about a 5.3 million a year cap hit.

Atkinson should provide the Flyers with some much-needed offense. Most importantly he will provide the Flyers and their stable of young players veteran mentorship and when the time comes should provide a decent return when he is traded.  

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Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.