By Corine Gatti
Either they loved him or they hated winger/bruiser Steve Downie in Philadelphia. According to several postings and reactions of both Flyer fans and the American Hockey League Phantomsâ€™ bloggers â€“ most fans adored the 5-foot, 10-inch Newmarket, Ontario native. Some posted that they feared him on the opposing side after he was traded from Philadelphia to the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 7. At only 21-years of age, Downie has already amassed quite a reputation for seeing the penalty box and taking lengthy suspensions. The National Hockey League benched him for 20-games for his hit on Ottawaâ€™s Dean McAmmond during a preseason game with the Flyers last September. Downie's past has not eluded him. The American Hockey League suspended the winger for three games Wednesday after smashing Worchesterâ€™s defenseman Kyle McLaren from behind during the second period. Downie has only played six games with Norfolk.
The Downie package does have an upside. The right wing can play both sides of the rink. He is a strong skater and has the agility to put offensive numbers on the board, despite his frame. After the trade from the Philadelphia organization, Downie joined the Norfolk Admirals on their two-week road trip. He was paired with Zenon Konopka and notched three points during his first week.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed overaged left wing prospect David Koci off of waivers from the St. Louis Blues organization. Koci was lost to the Blues via waivers earlier in the season when the Lightning waived Koci with the intention of reassigning him Norfolk (AHL).
According the Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, there were numerous claims registered for Koci, which means the Lightning cannot reassign him to Norfolk without placing him back on waivers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Steve Eminger, right wing Steve Downie and a fourth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Matt Carle and San Joseâ€™s third-round pick in 2009 (previously acquired) today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced.
Downie, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound native of Newmarket, Ontario, has played in six games with the Flyers this year, recording 11 penalty minutes. He has played in 38 career NHL games, all with Philadelphia, recording six goals and 12 points. He also has one career shorthanded goal and one game-winning goal. The 21-year-old played in 190 career junior games with Windsor, Peterborough and Kitchener. He amassed 82 career goals and 234 points. He also appeared in 43 OHL playoff games, recording 18 goals and 53 points. Downie was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
(WHL Release) Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager, Roy Stasiuk and Tri City Americans General Manager, Robert Tory jointly announced a major trade today which sees high scoring forward and Lightning prospect, Mitch Fadden and defensemen, Cam Stevens and Brock Sutherland moving south in exchange for defenseman, Eric Mestery and forward Drew Hoff.
The two GM's made a huge splash two years ago when high scoring forward (and former Traverse City Lightning member), Colton Yellow Horn was moved to the Americans in exchange for a first round draft pick. Yellow Horn went on to become one of the more prolific scorers in the WHL and the Hurricanes' secured scoring prospect, Mark Reners in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.
"Mitch Fadden is an incredibly gifted, talented and exciting player, however, our biggest need right now is a solid top four defenseman and Eric Mestery fits that bill." said Stasiuk, the Canes' GM added, "With Luca Sbisa remaining with the Philadelphia Flyers, we had to use some of our offensive depth in order to address a more pressing need. Cam and Brock will both have more opportunity to develop in supporting roles with the Americans and Drew Hoff is expected to inject some energy into our forward groupings."
The goalie no one in the WHL wanted now suddenly is in high demand.
For the second time in a week, Lightning prospect Torrie Jung was traded. This time, Lethbridge dealt the netminder to the Edmonton Oil Kings, who were unhappy with the inconsistency of veteran goaltender Dalyn Flette and need healthy options in net.