A rare three-way deal involving the Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche has highlighted today’s trade action.
The deal first saw Colorado acquiring forward Steve Downie from the Tampa Bay Lightning in-exchange for defenseman Kyle Quincey, TSN reported.
The deal on paper was a straight hockey trade as both players are restricted free agents at seasons end.
However, Quincey was traded twice as the Lightning just minutes after acquiring Quincey, sent the 26 year old defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings for a 2012 1st round pick and prospect.
Lightning receive 1st round pick and prospect Sebastien Piche from Red Wings.
Avalanche acquire F Steve Downie from Lightning
Red Wings acquire D Kyle Quincey from Lightning
Entering today three points out of a playoff spot and 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, many believed the Colorado Avalanche were going to be active this week and they appear headed in that direction.
The Avalanche acquire a top-9 forward in Downie who is in the final year of a two year, $3.7 million deal, carrying a $1.85 million cap hit. A restricted free agent at seasons end, this is a move for the now and future.
Downie has 12 goals and 28 points in 55 games this season, posting a minus-15 rating. He’s a player who in the past has showed the ability to play a top-6 role, scoring 22 goals in 2009-2010 and is mostly known around the league for being a pest, collecting 208 penalty minutes in 09-10, followed by 171 last season and currently has 121 penalty minutes this season.
Trading away Quincey is not a surprise for an Avalanche team that is a budget team. Quincey is making $3.25 million this season and his salary would be rising for next season.
RED WINGS ANALYSIS
Quincey, 26, is the final year of a two year, $6.25 million deal. Quincey has 5 goals and 18 assists in 54 games this season, posting a minus-1 rating. He averaged 22:21 of ice time for the Av’s.
The addition of Quincey bolsters the Red Wings depth situation for this season and is good insurance for the team if Brad Stuart leaves via free agency as speculation has centered around Stuart wanting to go play out West again.
The Red Wings have $40 million committed to 15 players for next season and only four defensemen under contract.
Another added dividend for the Red Wings is that Quincey has been in the Red Wings system before, drafted by the Red Wings in the 4th round of the 2003 entry draft.
The Red Wings still have plenty of cap space to bolster their lineup upfront going into Monday’s deadline.
GM Steve Yzerman has been in the market for a young top-4 defenseman, so at first glance when it appeared to be a Downie- Quincey swap, it looked like a solid hockey trade for both teams that addressed a particular need for the Lightning.
Yzerman though has prioritized stockpiling high draft picks, and now has 2 first rounders, 3 second rounders and another second-rounder that the Florida Panthers that could give them 4 second-rounders.
The trade of Downie, a top-9 forward and close friend of Steven Stamkos is an interesting one, considering the Lightning have an aging group of top-6 forwards in Marty St. Louis and Ryan Malone.