Shortly after Colorado traded Steve Downie to Philly in early November, reports claimed the deal happened because of a preseason altercation between Downie and the club’s young captain, Gabriel Landeskog.
When asked about the situation — the Avs and Flyers met Thursday for the first time since the trade — Downie said the entire thing was blown out of proportion.
“I think it was [overblown],” Downie said, per Philly.com. “I don’t make the trades. I really can’t comment on it. Writers are going to write what they want. I never saw anyone quoted or anything.
“You’d have to ask [the Avalanche]. I’d say me and Landy had a great relationship.”
In a November interview with Sportsnet’s FAN 960 Calgary, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman talked about the incident and subsequent move.
“Obviously, people thought it was a weird trade,” Friedman explained. “You rarely see a first-rounder [Downie] get traded for a guy who — while a useful player — is now pretty much a fourth-liner [Max Talbot].
“During training camp, Downie got angry at Landeskog for a trip during a scrimmage, and he drilled [Landeskog]. I was just told that from that day, considering Downie was a bit unrepentant about it, I just heard the Avalanche decided they were going to make the change at that time.
“Basically the Avalanche decided that when that happened, and Downie was unapologetic about it, the time was going to come when he was going to get dealt.”
The spat did warrant mentioned in the Denver Post on Sept. 14, and the Post’s Adrian Dater subsequently posted an interview with Landeskog in which Landeskog, the NHL’s youngest captain, shrugged off the incident.
Despite that, he whispers of discord between he and Downie remained until the latter was traded.