Talbot, 29, has a goal and one assist in 11 games with Philadelphia this season.
The native of Lemoyne, Que., Talbot has 77 goals and 77 assists in 515 career games with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He 18 goals and 21 assists in 77 playoff games, and helped the Penguins win the 2009 Stanley Cup.
"Maxime is a veteran forward who has won a Stanley Cup and has a lot of NHL experience," said Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic. "We look forward to him bringing that experience to our club."
Downie has a goal, six assists and 36 penalty minutes in 11 games with Colorado this year. He returns to the team that drafted him in the first round, 29th overall, in 2005.
The 26-year-old from Newmarket, Ont., has 56 goals, 89 assists and 696 penalty minutes in 285 career games with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Colorado.