Fantasy Impact: The Tampa Bay Lightning pulled off a double-swap, trading Steve Downie to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Kyle Quincey... and then shipping Quincey off to Detroit for a first-round pick and prospect defenseman Sebastien Piche.
The Lightning get: a great draft pick and more cap room. Kudos to Steve Yzerman for being proactive in the trade market and getting his house in order before the "last minute".
The Avalanche gets: some grit, some skill...and perhaps a potential headache in the dressing room. Although I haven't heard anything negative about Steve Downie lately, he is a skilled agitator with a track record of bending the rules. These players are often welcomed for a couple of years before the act gets old. But his presence will add plenty of sandpaper, which should help protect the likes of Peter Mueller, Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene from injury. Certainly can't hurt. With all the injuries to this club over the past couple of seasons, they saw toughness as a weakness that needed addressing.
The Red Wings get: a decent defenseman who is actually more of a stay-at-home type who has discovered an offensive touch since he went to Los Angeles. Quincey is a former Red Wing, so they knew exactly what they were getting and he should add some great depth for the secondary power play, as well as a solid guy for the third pairing on defense.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The Red Wings are gearing up for a deep postseason run, which means that they don't have time for a young player like Jakub Kindl to grow into the NHL. This move makes Kindl the seventh defenseman and Mike Commodore the eighth. Brendan Smith becomes ninth on the pecking order, despite his NHL readiness. Quincey as a No.5 or No.6 guy says it all - the Red Wings have one of the best defense corps one through eight in the league.
As for Quincey, he was having his usual second-half slide after a promising start offensively. He fits in better in a lesser role. I don't believe this trade will impact Ian White or Niklas Kronwall.
The Colorado Avalanche have just made room for Stefan Elliott. Possibly Tyson Barrie, but my money is on Elliott making a return to the NHL for good. Landing Downie will do one of two things. It pushes Kevin Porter out of the lineup and it makes it easier to move David Jones. I think Downie will have the usual "just traded" adrenalin rush, which should mean decent points to start.
Steve Downie being off the Lightning roster should finally give Brett Connolly some decent ice time. Yzerman would love to see what he can do with it, and he knows better than anyone that a prospect won't develop as well getting five or six minutes. Look for 10 or 11 minutes instead.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
2. Smith, for this year