Today they traded fan-favorite Max Talbot to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for former Flyers' first-round pick Steve Downie.
Talbot, 29, signed a five-year, $8.75 million deal with the Flyers in July 2011. He had a career-year in his first season in Philadelphia scoring a career-high 19 goals with a career-best 15 assists for 34 points in 2011-12. He has one goal and one assist in 11 games this season for the Flyers playing a key role on the team's penalty kill.
Downie, 26, was a first-round pick of the Flyers in the 2005 NHL Draft. He played 32 games for the Flyers as a 20-year-old in 2007-08 scoring six goals and adding with 73 penalty minutes. He was traded early in the 2008-09 season to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Matt Carle. His best year came playing alongside Vinny Lecavalier in Tampa in 2009-10 when 22 goals and added 24 assists.
In 11 games this year with Colorado, he has one goal and six assists with 36 penalty minutes, eighth most in the NHL. Downie will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and carries a $2.65 million cap hit.
I cannot say I understand this move. Talbot, while not an offensive presence, was a key cog in the Flyers penalty kill which is sixth in the league - one of the few bright spots this year. Downie has a ton of upside and could really be a great player for the Flyers but the move comes with risk. The Flyers struggled early-on with their minor penalties and Downie does not seem like the type of player that is going to help in that department.
On a pure talent level, the Flyers won this trade but it depends what they can get out of Downie. However, this does give the Flyers a reason to keep Jay Rosehill out of the lineup. Downie is expected to arrive in Philadelphia tonight and be in the lineup tomorrow night against the Capitals.
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