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Did Colorado trade Downie because of Landeskog incident?

Nov 5, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

stevedowniegetty Getty Images

There might be more to last week’s Steve Downie-for-Max Talbot trade than meets the eye.

In an interview with Sportsnet’s FAN 960 Calgary, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Colorado might’ve dumped Downie because of a preseason incident with team captain Gabriel Landeskog.

“Obviously, people thought it was a weird trade,” Friedman explained. “You rarely see a first-rounder get traded for a guy who — while a useful player — is now pretty much a fourth-liner.

“During training camp, Downie got angry at Landeskog for a trip during a scrimmage, and he drilled [Landeskog]. I was just told that from that day, considering Downie was a bit unrepentant about it, I just heard the Avalanche decided they were going to make the change at that time.

“Basically the Avalanche decided that when that happened, and Downie was unapologetic about it, the time was going to come when he was going to get dealt.”

Downie, the 29th overall pick in 2005, had seven points in 11 games for the Avs at the time of the deal. Talbot had 1G-1A in as many games for Philly.

As for the Downie-Landeskog incident in question, it was reported in the Denver Post on Sept. 14:

While there have been no fights so far, there was some bad blood today between Gabe Landeskog and Steve Downie at least. I didn’t see the whole thing, but Landy took major exception to a hit Downie gave him during scrimmages today and tried to go after him along the bench. But Downie, whose helmet flew off on his hit, was bending down to pick it up and couldn’t engage much.

So later, Landy got Downie in the corner and flat-out pitch-forked his feet from under him with his stick, sending Downie down on the ice. When Downie got up, he skated gingerly back to the bench, looking to have a leg that was not feeling too hot. He sat out a couple of shifts, but when he returned for a faceoff, with Landy lined up outside on the circle, he skated like the wind to get next to Landy just in time for the drop of the puck and there was a little more pushing and shoving from there.

The Post’s Adrian Dater also posted an interview with Landeskog following the incident.

Landeskog, 20, is the NHL’s youngest captain and it’s possible — assuming the Friedman anecdote is accurate — the decision to move Downie could’ve been related to stabilizing Landeskog’s leadership role on the team.

What’s more, this isn’t the first time Downie’s run into issues with teammates. His junior career was marred by an ugly hazing incident with OHL Windsor, culminating with Downie fighting teammate Akim Aliu during practice.

The incident saw Downie get traded to Peterborough and Windsor head coach Moe Mantha fired.

  1. polegojim - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    As the above facts feel right and true… and good riddance to Downie.

    Who needs crap like that in the locker room?

  2. alicesrightfootesq - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Downie needs psychological help. He’s acted out like this since juniors.

    • ntvd7 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      Sad though…

      He can be a good player when he decides to be

    • 2qswing - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      well he’s with the perfect team for him now

  3. claudegirwho - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Now it makes sense why the flyers picked him up its a test for giroux. Giroux will be handing downie the C in a week while cowering in the corner

  4. joey4id - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Sounds like Joe and the Roy wanted to keep the team dynamics in check. Toe the line or your gone!

  5. joey4id - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Sounds like Joe and the Roy wanted to keep the team dynamics in check. Toe the line or you’re gone!

  6. hockey412 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Eh, water under the bridge…he’s with his own kind now, where he belongs.

    And congrats to Talbot…that’s an exciting team to be a part of, at just the right time.

  7. jernster21 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    If this was the real reason I find it pretty silly. This all happened in training camp. These guys aren’t supposed to be “friends” during training camp, they’re all trying to earn/keep a job and if that means making aggressive hits on each other, then that’s what it takes.

    • thesportsjudge - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      So Landeskog and/or Downie were trying to keep/earn a job? I guess there is no security in the NHL.

      • jernster21 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Being the captain of the team is a job that he still has to learn, and earn respect from the rest of the team, so yeah, in that regard he certainly is. Landeskog is going to get a hell of a lot more respect standing up for himself than he is being a 20 year old kid with a “save me” mentality.

      • thesportsjudge - Nov 6, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        I agree, but believe GL is firmly entrenched as captain(earned or not, not that I am saying he DOESN’T deserve it.) I also believe he has already earned the teams’ respect.

    • joey4id - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Think of it this way. The Roy could have given the boys exactly what he wanted to see and not see during camp. And perhaps one of those things was respecting and protecting the captain. Roy/Sakic are trying to build a winning team, and that requires leadership from the Cap. He may have told the players in a round about way ‘don’t F with the captain.”

      • jernster21 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        I’m not sure I agree with a ‘coddle the captain’ approach. Gabe is a big boy, he can take care of himself. I can’t imagine any veteran players having respect for a coach and/or the captain under those conditions, which is clearly not the case as everyone is buying into whatever Roy is putting out. It’s all speculation unless Roy/Sakic/Downie/Landeskog come out and tell it like it is, but it’s unlikely to happen. For the sake of speculation, I can’t say this popped up in my mind as a potential reason for the trade so a worthy speculative article none the less, I just have a hard time believing it has anything to do with that.

    • flyersfan85 - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      I agree seems thst the ‘kinder and gentler’ NHL crowd may not. The Messier (tough love leadership) or Stevie Y (skilled, quiet, earned leadership) isnt required any longer..then again..we are speculating arent we..on a site known for garning attention with bogus stories.

  8. ibieiniid - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    some of these commenters think they’re watching figure skating I think. I’m with jernster.

  9. LampyB - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Agreed but there could easily have been bad blood still in place, resentment for the spring training activities. Basically despising each other. Lande is the captain, and moving downie to keep team dynamics and morale in place would certainly make sense. Downie’s a thug regardless, he’s had many issues like this in the past.

  10. hockeyflow33 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Has Friedman never been to a pre-season camp, at any level before? Fights happen in every camp.

    • m1k3g - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Riiiiiiiiiiight. Who can forget the time in camp when

      Ryan Malone dropped the gloves with Sidney Crosby
      Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves with Claude Giroux
      Dave Hunter dropped the gloves with Wayne Gretzky
      Ulf Samuelsson dropped the gloves with Mario Lemieux

      If you think this is akin to two ‘on the bubble/trying to earn a roster spot’ guys throwing down, you’re nuts.

      • hockeyflow33 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        I never said any of those people fought against each other so I don’t know who you’re arguing with.

      • m1k3g - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        I started my comment with “Riiiiiiiiiiight”. I even broke down my point in pretty plain English with a line at the end of my comment.

        If you missed my point, I’m not sure I can explain it to you….

  11. willrad00 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Yeah i agree stuff like this will happen but i think you have to take extra care when you have such a young captain especially if downie was still holding onto as it sounds

    • ibieiniid - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      No offense to you willrad, but what league are you guys f’n watching for this to be an agreed upon comment? Coddling a cap’n because he’s young? Seriously, its like you guys think these are your kids’ teams. Or was it REALLY because you hate downie and he’s a flyer now? I know the answer already, but please quit pussifying the game of hockey in the process.

  12. wjarvis - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    So he’s traded for getting unreasonably upset over nothing and being unapologetic after? I don’t know how that decision could be made by the same team that hired Roy to be their leader…

  13. flyersfan85 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    So parphrasing the incident.

    Downie checks Landy, who gets pissed and sweeps downie, who appears hurts for a few shifts, and goes for redemption.

    And they wanted an apology from Downie? Did they get one from Landy?

    Whatever..the C cant be challenged..even when he gets butthurt..whatever..they are killing it out there in Colorado.

    Better to know that you can Captain cause the management will trade whoever pisses you off, rather then the way Joe did know..with respect.

    • hockeyflow33 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who read it that way. Based off the comments here people make it seem like Downie was accosting him in the showers.

  14. flyersfan85 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    And knowing that someone you may have been friends with on the team got traded cause he pissed the C off..whoacted like a spoiled doesnt cause animosity..

    Dad..he checked him!!!

  15. phillyphanatic77 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    This stuff is blown way out of proportion to create a story where there isn’t one. Downie was providing offense, something the Flyers needed; Talbot was providing defense and sandpaper, something the Avs needed… it’s a win-win. Stop trying to stirring up controversy media, altho we all know you’re not known for that.

    • flyersfan85 - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Stop with that man..look at my commemts..and the thumbs down..they want no logic here..

      Although to set the record straight..I did fire up NHL14 and made the ‘lanche trade back for Downie.. seems the right thing to do..I am sure a virtual Downie and virtual Landeskog shook hands and Landeskog earned a +3 from fans, +5 from teammates, and maybe +1 from management.

      Opposing opinions..not such a appreciated thing Or is it that there is Flyers in my tag and instantly im a slope-headed, drooling troll.

      Either way..conspiracy rules!!

      • ibieiniid - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        Don’t stress it man… nothing flyers fans say on here can be correct, no matter how right you are

      • flyersfan85 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        No worries man. I have been through worse. I have been watching the goings-on on Pht for a while. Its a garbage site that propogates the Philly-Pitts thing. Unfortunately, I didnt realize that alot of people
        Still believe that bobby cs mentality is still relivent

        Eh, a little Pauls Boutique and some Magic Hat 9 and Live the life..and its almost like Paul H hasent made us the early 90s pens…hopefully there is a Sidney Malkin at the end of the funride.

  16. bobhpine - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Steve Downie WAS a first rounder…except nobody wants him around so who really cares? I’d take a solid checker like Max Talbot (cup winner) over some stooge no one can stand who was a low first round pick that never panned out.

    Steve Downie sucks, basically.

    • dirt2013 - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      It’s hard to believe Homer made a mistake as most of his recent moves have been golden.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Talbot hasn’t been a “checker” for several seasons. Your lack of hockey knowledge and the amount that you feign knowledge is pretty apparent.

  17. avscup - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    I posted this last week when the trade happened and I think it certainly did have an impact on the deal. the Avs were looking for a trade partner for a while. Downie proved his mentality over the first month. He took plenty of dumb, undisciplined penalties. He just isn’t that smart! We will miss his grit, but not his potential which is limited! He was the cancer that Roy will not put up with and Joe knows better than anyone, does not work on a championship caliber team. The training camp incident alone was not the problem, it was a result of Downie’s inability to be the Total team guy. He has been a bit of a selfish jerk his whole career and that will not work for Roy’s team first mentality.

    I am not thrilled with the trade results but I think it will prove to be fine for the Avs in that it will allow some others to step up and have a chance. PA was moved onto the 1st line and that will be better for ROR and Dutchy and Mitchel deserves his chances to play up in the 3rd. He is playing some very solid hockey. When McGinn and Tangs are back healthy, we will not miss Downie at all. Certainly not his undisciplined penalties that helped us to the league lead in PK!

    Go AVS!

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