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Downie clears waivers, off to Coyotes’ AHL affiliate

The Arizona Coyotes are shocking the league by staying in playoff contention when they were predicted to be at the bottom and that success could be attributed to finding a hot goaltender.

There were no takers for Steve Downie, which means he’s headed to the American League for the first time in nearly eight years.

Downie, who was waived yesterday by the Coyotes, went unclaimed and will now be assigned to the club’s AHL affiliate in Springfield, per GM Don Maloney.

It’s the latest in what’s been a tough year for the 28-year-old. Downie only played in two games this month, which included a 7:12 stint in a 2-0 loss to the Devils on Saturday. He’s been a healthy scratch on a number of occasions recently and, prior to that, had missed a fairly significant period of time with an upper-body injury.

Signed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal this summer, Downie was expected to bring his trademark grit and energy to the Coyotes, but it didn’t really materialize.

Now, he’s off to the AHL -- a league he hasn’t played in since the 2008-09 campaign, when he split time between the Tampa Bay and Philadelphia organizations.