Friday, December 26, 2014

Flyers deal Talbot for Downie

The Flyers bolstered their sagging offense and weakened their penalty-killing unit Thursday, re-acquiring right winger Steve Downie by sending forward Max Talbot to Colorado.

Flyers deal Talbot for Downie

The Flyers bolstered their sagging offense and weakened their penalty-killing unit Thursday, re-acquiring right winger Steve Downie by sending forward Max Talbot to Colorado.

Downie, 26, the Flyers' first-round pick in 2005 (29th overall), had one goal and six assists in 11 games with the Avs this season. A physical player, Downie missed 46 of 48 games last seasson with a torn ACL in his right knee.

"I like the hunger and energy he brings," GM Paul Holmgren said. "I think he'll help us."

The Flyers have scored two goals or fewer in 10 of their 11 games. The lack or production is why Holmgren made the move. Holmgren said Talbot's defensive play will be missed, "but we felt at the other end, we needed something to stir the pot."

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Downie may be used on the top line to give Claude Giroux more room.

Holmgren called Downie someone "who goes to the front of the net with a purpose and he can really hold onto the puck and make plays. Steve's a good player, a better player than maybe people give him credit for."

When he was with Tampa Bay, Downie was on the top line with Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis; he sometimes was on a line with current Flyer Vinny Lecavalier, and he scored 22 goals with the Lightning in 2009-10.

Talbot, 29, one of the Flyers' top penalty killers, had one goal and one assist this season. He led Flyers forwards with an average of 3:35 per game on the PK.

In 127 career games with the Flyers, Talbot had 25 goals and 21 assists.

Downie, an agitator, has a $2.6 million cap hit and can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

"He's been hurt and has had some issues, but there's a hockey player there," said CSN Flyers analyst Rick Tocchet, who coached Downie in Tampa.

Downie was suspended for 20 games in 2007 and for one game in 2011.

"This is my seventh year in the league. I've grown with the game. I know when to pick my spots now," said Downie, who played for Flyers coach Craig Berube when he coached the Phantoms.

This year, Downie usually played on Colorado's top line, with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly.

Tocchet said when he coached Downie in Tampa, the winger was sometimes out of control on the ice, "but there was some smooth sailing, too. You have to work with him."

Talbot is a "veteran forward who has won a Stanley Cup and has a lot of NHL experience," Colorado GM Joe Sakic said. "We're looking forward to him bringing that experience to our club."

In recent years, the Flyers have re-acquired numerous players besides Downie, including Ray Emery, Simon Gagne, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Knuble, Vinny Prospal, Todd Fedoruk, Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton, Josh Gratton, Mark Greig, Tocchet, Mark Recchi, Chris Therien, and Jim Vandermeer.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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