Fantasy Impact: The Philadelphia Flyers have re-acquired Steve Downie from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Maxime Talbot.
The Flyers get: a feisty energy winger with enough offensive punch to fill in on a scoring line. After missing all but two games last season Downie had jumped back into the Avalanche lineup with real success scoring seven points in 11 games skating on a line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly. He was also a real pugilist, racking up 36 PIM so far.
This is a contract year for Downie and coming off an injury you have to think he is highly motivated to prove he can be a difference maker.
The Avalanche get: a feisty energy center who can skate on the third or fourth line. Talbot is also a big time penalty killer who was leading all Flyers forwards in short-handed ice time this season.
The Avalanche also save nearly a million in cap space with this move. They already have more cap space than anyone but should the Semyon Varlamov situation go south they would have more than enough room to make a play for a starter – Ryan Miller, perhaps.
Fantasy Players Impacted: This deal certainly hurts Downie. He was skating on the Avalanche top line and seeing top power unit minutes. It’s hard to see him getting that opportunity in Philadelphia considering Jakub Voracek, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read are all likely ahead of him on the depth chart, to say nothing of Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier who both also need power play time.
Downie gives the Flyers four right-wingers competing for ice time so one of he, Voracek, Simmonds or Read will be moved to the off-wing or find themselves out of a job. This is Philadelphia so it wouldn’t be surprising if more moves were made but right now Downie may start on the fourth line.
Adding Downie also gives the Flyers, already one of the league’s most penalized teams another PIM taker and they lost their best penalty-killer in Talbot so Steve Mason could be in for more rubber.
Downie’s departure opens up a spot on the Avalanche top line for P.A. Parenteau to reclaim. He’s off to a bit of a slow start skating on the third line with Nathan MacKinnon and Jamie McGinn while only seeing second power play unit minutes. A return to the top line would be a huge boon for his fantasy stock.
The Talbot acquisition is an interesting one for the Avalanche because as we all know what the league’s top penalty killing team needs is more penalty killers. Guys like Alex Tanguay, MacKinnon and Duchene, seeing marginal penalty kill minutes could see that sucked down to zero, which would leave them with more energy to focus on scoring.
Talbot’s presence could also push MacKinnon, struggling on face-offs to the wing where he can ease into the game better. Overall, however, losing Parenteau probably hurts MacKinnon more than adding Talbot helps, at least in terms of scoring.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. P.A. Parenteau
2. Matt Duchene
3. Semyon Varlamov
4. JS Giguere
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Steve Downie
2. Nathan MacKinnon
3. Steve Mason
4. Wayne Simmonds
5. Matt Read