I actually think this makes more sense from the Avs perspective. In the long term at least.
Downey is a pending UFA and the Avs have a number of key RFAs to resign at the end of the year.
Talbot is a good bottom 6 guy who can play center or wing and is on a reasonable salary for the next few years.
They obviously didn't have plans to resign Downey so they flipped him for a piece that can contribute now.
Like almost any trade concerning a pending UFA, team with UFA = short term bonus, team with non-UFA = long-term bonus.
Have to consider more than just the names. Trades are made for financial reasons as much as they are for performance reasons
"The leader must never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert."
When asked who won, Babcock said, “Well it doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t lose. It’s like going bear hunting, you take a slow guy with you in case the bear is hungry.”