The Pittsburgh Penguins made another move in free agency, and look out.
Steve Downie agrees to terms on one-year, $1M deal with PIT. #TSN— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2014
Downie, 27, split time between Philadelphia and Colorado (after being traded for Max Talbot mid-season) and scored 24 points (4g, 20a) in 62 games.
Downie's best year came back in 2010-11, when he scored 22 goals and 24 assists (and racked up 208 penalty minutes), when his head coach was none other than current Pens assistant Rick Tocchet.
Downie has definitely been a controversial player- playing over the edge at times and has certainly had his run-ins with the Penguins over the years. However, like other players of the past (Ulf Samuelsson, Darius Kasparaits, Matt Barnaby and maybe even Matt Cooke) -- perhaps it will be better to have this guy on your favorite team, rather than watch him antagonize your favorite team.
Time will tell, but it's another upgrade for the bottom six, which now features a potential lineup of other recently signed players like Marcel Goc, Blake Comeau, the newly acquired Nick Spaling, and restricted free agent Brandon Sutter. Those names look a lot better than Joe Vitale, Tanner Glass, Taylor Pyatt and Chuck Kobasew that the team has had to rely on in the past.
The Penguins had a mandate to become a tougher team to play against, and re-uniting Tocchet and Downie should hopefully accomplish that and give a little more sandpaper to what had become a vanilla lineup. If nothing else, recent acquisitions are sweeping that away.