There was no salary retained in the one-for-one deal.
Atkinson, 32, spent all 10 years of his NHL career with the Blue Jackets after being taken in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He has 213 goals and 189 assists in 627 games, including a 41-goal season in 2018-19. His goal-scoring has declined in the past two seasons, dropping under a goal per 60 minutes of play for the first time in his career.
Voracek, who turns 32 in August, began his career with Columbus, which drafted him seventh overall in 2007. He had 134 points in 241 games in three years with the Blue Jackets before they traded him to the Flyers in a deal for Jeff Carter in 2011.
He spent 10 years in Philadelphia, scoring 738 points in 968 games while playing major minutes on their top scoring line. But his ice time has declined for three straight seasons. General manager Chuck Fletcher said he and Voracek discussed his future with the team, which included leaving him unprotected in the Seattle expansion draft.
"I can see a lot of paths where Jake would be a part of our team next year, and still a valuable, contributing member of our team. And certainly there could be ways where he isn't," Fletcher said before the trade.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen said the team was excited to "welcome Jake Voracek back to the Blue Jackets' family."
"He is a powerful, dynamic offensive player that will be a significant contributor to our club," Kekalainen said. "Adding a player like that comes at a cost and I want to thank Cam Atkinson for his many contributions to the Blue Jackets and Columbus community over the past 10 years."
The trade also gives the Blue Jackets a salary-cap advantage in the long term. While Voracek carries a significant cap hit of $8.25 million average annual value -- more than Atkinson's $5.875 million AAV -- he has only three years left on his contract while Atkinson has four years remaining. As far as actual dollars, Atkinson has $21.1 million left on his deal while Voracek will earn $22.5 million.
Atkinson said he had no inkling that a trade could happen. He said he was preparing for his son Declan's third birthday festivities on Saturday morning when Kekalainen called to inform him that he had been traded.
But in hindsight, with so many of his friends and the team's veteran players having been traded in the past several months, Atkinson feels the Blue Jackets were headed in a different direction. "It seemed just like the band was breaking up. I didn't expect this," he said.
Luckily, he had something to change into for his meeting with the Philadelphia media: His wife's Gritty T-shirt, featuring the Flyers' mascot.