Ex-Flyer Max Talbot enjoying life in Colorado

Ex-Flyer Max Talbot enjoying life in Colorado
January 2, 2014, 3:30 pm
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In 28 games with Colorado, Max Talbot has three goals and six assists. (USA Today Images)

DENVER – Max Talbot was admittedly stunned by the trade, talking to general manager Paul Holmgren on his cell phone while driving home from practice last Nov. 3.

“You get caught off-guard and have to turn around and adjust real fast,” Talbot recalled as the Avs prepare to host the Flyers on Thursday night.

“It was more stressful for my fiancé. The next day, you’re on a new team and meet your new teammates.”

He had roughly four hours to say goodbye to his pregnant fiancé, Cynthia, and catch a plane to Dallas later that day. She will deliver a child on Feb. 5.

“I’m excited,” Talbot said of being a father.

He’s come to love living in Colorado.

“Three hundred days of sun a year,” he said. “For Christmas, we went to Vail. I like the outdoors and she loves it, too. We live in a nice little neighborhood. It’s more calm than city living.”

He lived in Center City while playing with the Flyers.

Talbot was the Flyers' best penalty killer. He was traded straight up for Steve Downie. Tonight they both face their former clubs for the first time.

For Downie, coming back here means virtually nothing. Asked about his time spent here -- just 33 games over less than three seasons -- and what he remembers most, he replied, “injuries.”

“I haven’t put much thought into [coming back],” Downie said. “I don’t know how many games I played -- not many here. It was unfortunate. I ran into some injury problems and could never show them what I could do.”

When Talbot arrived, the Avs had the No. 1 penalty kill. They have since slipped to 19th in the league. Not because of him, said coach Patrick Roy.

“We were looking for someone to play on the penalty kill and the third line,” Roy said. “He’s been just perfect for us. It’s a great fit for us. ... He has an important role.

“Every time you make a trade you hope it works well for both teams. Since Steve joined the Flyers, they have played better hockey and Maxime has been a great fit for us.”

Talbot admitted it was an emotional departure for him to leave the Flyers. He was very close with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.

“There’s a lot of different emotions,” he said. “You leave a team where you have close friends and then have to make new friends. It was overwhelming. ...

“If you play hockey, you need to fit and get comfortable fast and I was lucky enough that this team was doing great and still is.”

He said he was “looking forward” to this game. He also thinks coach Craig Berube has done exactly as expected with the Flyers.

“We all knew it was a question of time,” Talbot said of the Flyers. “Mase (Steve Mason) has been himself. Craig is a great coach. There was so much talent in the room you knew they would turn it around. ... I’m not really surprised.”

Colorado is a younger squad.

Executive vice president Joe Sakic wanted a veteran who had won a recent Stanley Cup and was still young enough (29) where he could “fit” with younger players such as Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan McKinnon, Marc-Andre Cliché, Erik Johnson, etc., and help get the Avs over the hump of what it takes to go far in the playoffs and win a Stanley Cup.

Talbot fit the bill perfectly, having won a Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.

“We’re younger here and we’re a team that looked at the back of tunnel after a couple of rough years and Patrick Roy has so much positive, winning attitude and he’s brought that here,” Talbot said.

“Guys are excited. They’re still young and maturing every day. ... The Flyers are more experienced. They can [lean on] the playoffs from two years ago.”

Talbot said what he likes about playing for Roy is his desire to win.

“He’s a real winner,” Talbot said. “His emotion brings you together. He’s a very good teacher, too. He creates a family atmosphere."