Steve Yzerman is emerging as the star of this year’s trade deadline.
The Tampa Bay GM has pulled off his third and fourth trades over the last five days by sending forward Steve Downie to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Kyle Quincey, then trading Quincey to Detroit in exchange for the Red Wings’ first-round pick in 2012 and defenseman Sebastien Piche.
Tampa now has two first-round and three second-round picks (possibly four) at the 2012 draft.
As for the remaining details…
— Quincey, 26, was arguably Colorado’s top blueliner this season. He was tied for the team lead in defenseman scoring (23 points, with Erik Johnson) but led in goals (five), power play goals (three) and time on ice per game (22:21).
It’s not surprising Detroit wanted Quincey after losing him on waivers in 2008:
The Wings placed Quincey on waivers because they needed some salary cap space in case they needed to recall a goaltender from Grand Rapids in the event of a short-term injury or illness to one of their goalies.
Wings general manager Ken Holland said he talked to about five or six teams that were interested in Quincey and at one point were close to a deal that fell through. Teams were reluctant to part with a draft pick for a player who hadn’t established himself in the NHL.
“I’m happy for Kyle. He’s been patient,” Holland said. “With us acquiring Brad Stuart and the development of Brett Lebda and Jonathan Ericsson. We like Derek Meech. We can’t keep everybody.”
— Somewhat surprising to see Downie get shipped out. The 24-year-old had been a solid contributor for the Bolts since coming over from Philadelphia three seasons ago, scoring a career-high 22 goals in 2009-10. He was also Tampa’s fourth-leading scorer in last year’s playoffs (2G-12A-14PTS in 17 games), finishing ahead of Steve Stamkos.
Downie’s reputation as one of the league’s most renowned — and reckless — agitators gives the Avs more bite, something they’ve been lacking this season outside of Cody McLeod and Shane O’Brien. That said, Downie has a penchant for taking bad penalties and has been a repeat visitor to the NHL’s disciplinary department.
— Downie and Quincey are both impending RFAs. Downie’s in the final year of a deal with an annual cap hit of $1.85 million while Quincey’s is $3.13 million.
— Piche is an undrafted free agent currently playing with AHL Grand Rapids.
— Projecting: Detroit’s top six defensemen are now Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White, Niklas Kronwall, Stuart, Ericsson and Quincey.