Philadelphia has made a significant roster shakeup, acquiring former Flyer and notorious pest Steve Downie from Colorado in exchange for Maxim Talbot.
Downie, 26, was Philly’s first-round pick (29th overall) at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, and spent two seasons with the team before being dealt to Tampa Bay during the 2008-09 campaign.
He’ll return to a Flyers club looking for a spark to snap out of its 3-8-0 start to the year. Downie will certainly bring energy and some offense — he has seven points in 11 games this year — but he’s also earned a reputation as a reckless, occasionally undisciplined player, and head coach Craig Berube has stressed a need for discipline and fewer penalties this season.
As for Talbot, he heads to Colorado after three seasons with the Flyers.
Talbot, 29, has struggled recently after scoring a career-high 19 goals in his first season in Philly — he has six goals in his last 46 games, and just one this season. That said, Berube had been using Talbot as a top-six winger in recent games and based on a statement released by Avs executive VP Joe Sakic, Colorado sounds thrilled to acquire Talbot
“Maxime is a veteran forward who has won a Stanley Cup and has a lot of NHL experience,” Sakic said. “We’re looking forward to him bringing that experience to our club.”
It’s very possible Patrick Roy wanted Talbot on the recommendation of Benoit Groulx, his former QMHJL coaching adversary. Groulx coached Talbot with the Hull Olympiques in 2002-03, the same year Talbot tore it up by scoring 46 goals and 104 points in 69 games.
Earlier this year, reports out of Quebec claimed Groulx turned down an assistant coaching gig with the Avs to remain in junior.
From a contractual perspective, Downie carries a $2.65 million cap hit compared to Talbot’s $1.75 million, but Talbot has three years remaining on his deal whereas Downie’s an unrestricted free agent at year’s end.