VOORHEES, N.J. – In need of a shakeup, the Flyers traded one gritty forward for another – who is all too familiar with the Flyers organization.
The Flyers traded Max Talbot to the Colorado Avalanche Thursday in exchange for Steve Downie. Downie was originally a Flyers draft pick, selected in the first round of the 2005 NHL entry draft.
Downie, 26, was originally traded to Tampa Bay by the Flyers as part of the deal for Matt Carle. He had one goal and six assists for seven points in 11 games so far this season for the Avalanche, a decent start after missing almost the entire season in 2012-13 with an injury.
It’s an interesting swap because Downie provides a bit more offense and a bit more of an edge while sacrificing some defensive zone responsibility as well as strong penalty killing.
It’s also an interesting move financially as the Flyers are taking on more immediate salary – Downie has a $2.65 million cap hit while Talbot has a $1.75 million deal – but Downie is in the final year of his deal while Talbot is locked up for two more years after this season.
Talbot, 29, had one goal and one assist for two points in 11 games for the Flyers and was definitely a likeable player in the locker room.
My initial reaction here is that this is a decent move for the Flyers as Downie brings a little more to the table than Talbot – and it’s a move that is low risk, high reward.
Downie has more of a scorer’s touch and is a winger who can be versatile enough to play on any of the top three lines. He has good hands and makes a nice pass, which could fit in well with Claude Giroux and Vinny Lecavalier – especially since he played with Lecavalier in Tampa – where Downie had his biggest success.
It was also a necessity that the Flyers upgrade the left wing position. It was only a matter of time until general manager Paul Holmgren tried something – and for now this is what made the most sense to him.
The worst case scenario with this deal is that it doesn’t work out and Downie walks at season’s end. The best case is he comes in, does what he did in Tampa, and becomes a more integral part of the team.
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