Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman reported a preseason incident with Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog may have caused the trade that sent Steve Downie to the Flyers.
Friedman on the radio today via Pro Hockey Talk: “Obviously, people thought it was a weird trade. 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.”
How the incident went down from the Denver Post:
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.
Downie is still out indefinitely with a concussion per the Flyers.
That explains why the trade seemed so lopsided and no, Downie did not bang Varlamov's wife.
H/T Pro Hockey Talk
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