Not even a week after acquiring his rights, the Philadelphia Flyers have reportedly signed veteran defenseman Mark Streit to a four-year contract, as per CBC.
The Flyers have been desperate for blueline help after Chris Pronger’s (unofficially) career-ending head injury, suffered back in November 2011. Since then, Philadelphia has traded for Nicklas Grossman, dealt former No. 2 overall pick James van Riemsdyk to Toronto for Luke Schenn, signed Matt Carle to a big free-agent deal, and acquired Kent Huskins from the Detroit Red Wings.
Still, those moves weren’t enough to shore up a defensive corps that allowed 28.6 shots/game and 2.90 goals/game last year. So now, shortly after sending a 2014 fourth-round pick and minor league forward Shane Harper to the Islanders in exchange for their former captain’s negotiating rights, the Flyers have signed Streit to a four-year deal worth a reported $5.25M per annum.
Streit, a 35-year-old native of Bern, Switzerland entered the NHL back in 2004 as a ninth-round draft choice (262nd overall) of the Montreal Canadiens. He spent three seasons with Les Habitents before joining the Islanders in 2008 as a free agent. He spent the last four years as a fixture of their blueline, earning the captaincy in 2011 after Doug Weight retired. For his career, Streit has scored 65 goals and 288 points while playing in 491 NHL games.
He is the the second-oldest member of the Philadelphia defensive corps, after 38-year-old Finn Kimmo Timmonen, and will be expected to bring skill and leadership to a locker room that seemed to lose focus during last year’s lockout-shortened season, a season that saw Philadelphia miss the playoffs for the first time six years.
Broadstreet Bully faithful can only hope that this most recent addition to their team’s blueline is the piece that finally fixes the damage left in Chris Pronger’s wake, and returns them to Stanley Cup contention.