Steve Downie was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers today, and he is already tied with Vincent Lecavalier for the team lead in points with seven. That speaks volumes about how awful the Flyers have been offensively, but also about how strong of a player Downie is with the puck as well.
This isn’t the same trouble-making player that didn’t stick with Philadelphia is his first go around with the team. This is a rare breed of power forward, and the Flyers are going to immediately fall in love with his brash but effective style of play. There has been an outcry from the Colorado Avalanche‘s fan base, many of whom are wondering why the brass would give up such a unique player.
— Jarad Zittleman (@jzitty9) October 31, 2013
Jarad wasn’t alone with that sentiment either. Far from it.
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 31, 2013
While it’s impossible to know exactly what either of the teams in this deal were thinking exactly, the news has already surfaced that Downie could immediately get a look on Philadelphia’s top line alongside Claude Giroux.
Steve Downie may end up on Flyers’ top line http://t.co/SxwdoddytJ
— Rotoworld Hockey (@Rotoworld_HK) October 31, 2013
Folks will be discussing who the winners and losers in this trade are, but no one is set to “win” more than Giroux. Downie is a player that has a long track record of clicking with top-end forward despite his physical leanings. Take, for instance, his presence on Colorado’s line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly.
Downie does a lot of heavy lifting, puts up with zero shenanigans and has a relatively high hockey IQ given his skill set. He had some issues with discipline early on in his career, but has cemented himself as a hybrid forward that can be a big-time difference maker for his team.
The Avalanche were always a better team with Downie in the lineup, and the Flyers will be as well. Giroux has an awesome compliment, and won’t be forced to skate with wings like Tye McGinn or Michael Raffl for the foreseeable future. Giroux and Lecavalier have proven to be a dangerous combination, while Downie has a history of clicking with Vinny.
This could be the boost that the Flyers have needed so badly. Downie isn’t Thomas Vanek, but he’s a strong player and he brings a lot to the ice on a nightly basis.