PENGUINS HAVE LOOKED INTO DOWNIE
Agent Rick Curran confirmed this morning he’s had discussions with the Penguins about winger Steve Downie.
“He’s been discussed,” Curran said of talks with Pittsburgh, claiming Pittsburgh’s interest is “strong”.
Downie had a horrid year with the Flyers/Avalanche, collecting 4 goals and 24 points in 62 combined games. He was a decent possession player though at 49.1%, something the Penguins are looking at more closely when evaluating players.
Scouts contend Downie’s skating has declined in recent years due to knee surgery but there is a familiarity with assistant coach Rick Tocchet. Downie excelled under Tocchet in 2009-2010, posting a career high in goals (22) and points (46).
He’s never had the same type of success and has just 6 goals in his last 84 NHL games over the last three NHL seasons as he has struggled to stay healthy.
However, he’s a player who would added needed toughness and someone you could throw on a line with Malkin or Crosby for a few shifts when things are getting rough.
Downie made $2.75 million last season and would have to take a serious paycut to join the Penguins. Curran has a history of waiting things out with clients. We’ll see on the Downie but there is some level of interest from the Penguins who are looking to add another 4th line forward.
The Penguins hope to make progress on the contract front with Brandon Sutter this week. Negotiations will resume today between the Penguins and his reps at Newport Sports. Sutter is looking for over $3 million on a short-term deal.