It’s not quite Scottie-Upshall-and-a-second-round-pick-for-Daniel-Carcillo strange, but the Flyers just traded center Max Talbot to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for former Flyer winger Steve Downie.
Originally drafted in 2005 by the Flyers (1st round – 29th overall), Downie had 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) in parts of two seasons with the Flyers, also racking up 84 penalty minutes. This season, Downie has one goal and six assists in 11 games, which believe it or not, has him tied with Vinny Lecavalier for the team scoring lead.
With the reputation as a hard-nosed, tough enforcer with the tendency to cross the line, he along with Steve Eminger were traded to Tampa Bay in 2008 for defenseman Matt Carle. Downie was able to find his offensive side in Tampa, as he enjoyed his best season there in 2009-10, where he scored 22 goals and added 24 assists in 79 games.
The Orange Update also brings up an interesting point of perspective on the trade. Downie has spent parts of the past two seasons playing on the top line, first with Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis in Tampa, and this season with Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly of the Avs. It’s not farfetched to assume that his success playing with top-line players will carry on to his second stint with the Flyers, if he is fortunate enough to play with Lecavalier and Claude Giroux.
Talbot, signed from Pittsburgh in the summer of 2011 to a five-year contract with the Flyers, had a great first year in the orange and black, where he put up 19 goals and added 15 assists. However, his offensive production fell the next year to only ten points in 35 games, and 2 points this season in 11 games. Talbot spent some time this season on the first line with Lecavalier and Giroux, in what now seems like a showcase for a trade, after spending most of his time on the fourth line with the likes of Zac Rinaldo, Adam Hall and Jay Rosehill.
Talbot still had two years left on the deal he signed with the Flyers, which came with a $1.75 million cap hit, and Downie is in the final year of a 2-year, $5.3 million deal.