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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Avalanche Acquire Downie, Red Wings Quincey in Three-Team Trade

The Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Detroit Red Wings participated in a three-team swap on Tuesday, which saw right wing Steve Downie head to the Avalanche and defenseman Kyle Quincey join the Red Wings. The Avalanche acquired Downie from the Lightning in exchange for Quincey and the Lightning then flipped Quincey to the Red Wings for minor league defenseman Sebastien Piche and Detroit's first round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. All three players will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer. In 56 games so far this season, Downie has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points and 123 penalty minutes, while Quincey has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points and 60 penalty minutes in 54 games. In 22 games with Grand Rapids of the AHL, Piche has three assists. He has yet to appear in an NHL game. The Avalanche needed a lot more grit up front and Downie will bring that to the team. He also brings some offensive ability to the team and is one of the top agitators in the league, so Western Conference teams will have to deal with his grating style of play for the rest of the season and likely beyond. With the emergence of Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott, Quincey became expendable on the blueline. For the Red Wings, they get a player who is familiar with the team's system in Quincey. He will bring some offensive ability and plenty of grit to the blueline as a third pairing defenseman. The Red Wings also look to the future a little bit in this deal, as Quincey could be a potential replacement for Brad Stuart, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Lightning are clearly selling off assets and stockpiling draft picks at this point to retool their team. They get a marginal defensive prospect in Piche, who may or may not figure in to their long term plans. The first round draft pick is the key of this deal for the Lightning, even though it is all but certain to be one of the last ones in that round.

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