In an interesting move, the Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to a player-for-player swap, as Maxime Talbot will be joining the Avalanche in exchange for Steve Downie. Colorado and Philadelphia were linked earlier this season, as speculation rose that the two clubs were discussing deals involving one of Philadelphia's defensemen. Ultimately, this is the deal that developed out of those discussions.
Downie has spent most of this season playing on a line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly, which has resulted in seven points (one goal and six assists) in 11 games. Originally drafted by Philadelphia with the No. 29 overall selection, Downie accumulated 12 points in 38 games with the Flyers before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Talbot has excelled in a bottom-six role and is able to play center and wing. Of course, that results in limited offensive production, as he only has two points in 11 games.
At first glance, Philadelphia's decision to trade Talbot for Downie could be linked to salary cap flexibility. Downie will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, while Talbot will have two years remaining on a five-year contract. Considering how things have been going in Philadelphia this year -- AKA, not well -- the organization might also be looking to shake things up a bit.
Where Downie slots in on the Flyers remains to be seen, as coach Craig Berube could experiment with him on the wing of Claude Giroux and Vincent Lecavalier. Talbot will likely find a role in Colorado's bottom six and will seemingly develop a role on their penalty kill.
Lest we forget, Colorado is attempting to establish a "Stanley Cup attitude." Talbot played a role in helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win a championship in 2009, which was something the team made sure to highlight in their press release.