Last week, the Philadelphia Flyers traded a fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, and prospect Shane Harper to the New York Islanders for Defenceman Mark Streit. Today the Flyers announced that they have signed Streit to a 4 year deal, worth 5.25 million per season. As an over 35 contract the Flyers would be unable to get cap relief should Streit retire before the expiration of the deal.
Streit, 35 years old, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5th and reports surfaced that he would not be re-signing with the Islanders. Streit tallied six goals and 21 assists for the Islanders last season. He was captain of the team, a position he has held since the 2011-12 campaign.
In Streit, the Flyers add yet another weapon to a Powerplay that was ranked 3rd in the NHL with a 21.6% efficiency last season. The bigger issue is that the Flyers gain a legit top four defenceman at even-strength. Streit played over 23 minutes a game for the Islanders this season. He was a -14, but part of that is due to the fact that he has been asked to play top minutes against very strong opposition.
The Flyers have needed the extra depth on defence after what appears to be a career ending injury to Chris Pronger suffered in the 2011-12 season, and losing Matt Carle to free agency last summer. They attempted to get Shea Weber via an offer sheet but were unable to do so. The lack of defensive depth was a major problem for the Flyers, who surprisingly missed the playoffs this year. Going forward, the top Flyers offensive defenceman, Kimmo Timmonen, is not getting any younger, and is an unrestricted free agent following the 2013-14 season. Andrej Meszaros is also scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after next season.
For the Islanders they get a mid round pick for a player who was clearly not in their future plans. Harper is a 24 year old Right Wing prospect in the Philadelphia system. He’s a long shot NHLer at best, and looks like a throw in to this deal. Harper split the season between Adirondack in the AHL, where he put up 5 goals, 5 assists for 10 points in 48 games, and Trenton in the ECHL, where he had 27 points in 15 games. New York have indicated they are unlikely to offer him a new contract when his expires on July 5th. His inclusion in the deal appears to be trading a contract so the Flyers can stay under the 50 contract limit.
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