30-Year-Old Right Wing – Arizona Coyotes
Steve Downie Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Coyotes in July 2015.
Downie was reassigned to AHL Springfield on Sunday.
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Steve Downie: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Steve Downie.
Downie enjoyed one of the more productive all-around seasons of his career with the Penguins in 2014-15, putting up 14 goals, 28 points, and most significantly, a league-leading 238 PIM in 72 games with the Penguins. He'll now take his hard-nosed game to Arizona, where the scoring-bereft Coyotes won't be able to line him up with the kind of offensive talent Pittsburgh could offer. That could result in a drop off in his goal and shot totals this season, but Downie should remain one of the NHL's top agitators and take on a role as the Coyotes' resident tough guy.
The Penguins needed more toughness and signed Downie to help protect Sidney Crosby and company. The big question surrounding Downie isn't his heart or his skill, but rather how many games will he miss due to injury. The Avalanche apparently felt his knee issues were too great for their taste, but it's possible Pittsburgh has finally found a forward who combines skating with hitting and fighting - much like a former player and now coach Rick Tocchet. In fact, Downie had his best season in 2009-10 when Tocchet served as his coach in Tampa Bay. He has always been an excellent PIM contributor and if he sees occasional time skating with Crosby as the team has suggested, he could conceivably average half-a-point per game. He's at least worth an end-game shot in drafts, but keep in mind he'll likely miss plenty of action.
Fresh off knee surgery, Downie will play alongside explosive rookie Nathan MacKinnon and Jamie McGinn on the Av's third line. Injury concerns are very much an issue with this winger, as he has only played in 57 games the past two seasons combined due to knee and shoulder injuries, both of which required surgery. Downie does a little bit of everything on the ice -- he can score and set up guys, too. But he is mostly known for being a bruising checker. He has topped the 100 PIM mark three times in his career, while playing under 60 games in two of those three seasons. He could be a guy who gets you 40 points and 150 or more PIM If he can stay healthy. And that's always a risk with this guy. Draft with caution.
After coming to the Avs in February via trade, Downie recorded seven points in his first four games. However, he finished the season on a down note, managing just five helpers over his final 14 games, clearly suffering the results of a shoulder injury suffered March 3 against Pittsburgh. Fortunately, he underwent surgery soon after the season ended and has reportedly made a full recovery. Now with a new contract under his belt – signed in July – Downie should be ready to go once training camp arrives. Expect him to reprise his role playing on one of the Avs' top two lines next season.
Downie is a rare bird. He's one of the few fists-first, talk-later guys who has the speed and skill to play on the second line. He's already come close to a 50-point, 200+ PIM season (he was just four points shy in 2009-10) and we think he'll get there in the next few years ... maybe even this one. It'll all hinge on how the Bolts use him, Ryan Malone and Ryan Shannon -- only two of those three can round out the left side on the top two lines. We still think Shannon is the odd-man out but that could change quickly if he demonstrates any chemistry with Vinny Lecavalier. But that aside, Downie is a multi-category all-star and should be drafted as such.
In the matter of a few short months last year, Downie went from being a petulant toddler who all too often ended up in the league's naughty chair to a controlled super-pest with near top-20 winger fantasy value. Downie tallied 22 goals -- seven of which came on the power play -- 46 points and a whopping 208 PIMs while playing alongside Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis. He has the speed and skill to stay as a top-six forward. And if he does, he'll be the only NHLer to score 50-plus points and 200-plus PIMs; that's value. Otherwise, he's just another Daniel Carcillo.
Downie has talent; no doubt about it. But he's like shrapnel in an ammunition factory -- bad news. He just can't seem to keep his head on straight so he's limited to leagues with PIMs as a counting category. Too bad.
A true grinder, and first-round pick in the 2005 draft, Downie will likely play center the Flyers checking line when he returns from his left knee sprain injury he sustained in early October during preseason play against the Capitals. He was injured following a fight, so it is pretty clear he is not one to shy away from throwing down. With the Flyers good depth, they will surly rely on all four lines giving Downie a good chance to achieve double digit totals in goals and assists along with triple digit penalty minutes. He recorded six goals and six assists along with 73 penalty minutes in only 32 games last season. Downie will most likely not get drafted except for in deep leagues with lots of teams.
Downie is nother player with an outside chance of cracking the lineup. Downie had shoulder surgery in the summer, but is back to 100 percent for rookie camp. While Downie hopes to make the Flyers from the start, the number of veterans and established NHL forwards on the team could mean he begins his first pro season in the AHL with the Phantoms. Eventually his ability to score and pile up the penalty minutes should make him a nice fantasy option.
The Flyers are very high on Downie and it has been said they will give him a good chance to make the team this season. Downie loves to hit people and despite his small size, he loves to fight. He may help out with some penalty minutes, but that should be it. He could start the season in the AHL.
Downie is hands-down one of the nastiest players in the OHL. Don't get us wrong, he has talent, too -- he was the Windsor Spitfires best player as a 17-year-old. But he's best-known for his willingness to do anything, and we mean anything, to win. The biggest compliment we can think of to describe him is that he's an Ontario kid who should be in the WHL; he's that gritty. This little pit bull is a lot like his new general manager, Bobby Clarke.