The Philadelphia Flyers made headlines on Wednesday afternoon with the acquisition of the rights to unrestricted free agent-to-be defenseman Mark Streit from the New York Islanders for a fourth-round draft pick in 2014 and forward Shane Harper.
Streit, a 5-foot-11, 193-pound native of Switzerland was the former captain of the Isles. He is a left-handed shot and routinely quarterbacked the Islanders power play.
Last season, Streit tallied six goals and 21 assists in 48 games, adding two goals and five points in a first-round playoff exit against Pittsburgh. For his career, Streit has totaled 65 goals and 223 assists for 288 points, while playing in 491 games with Montreal and New York.
Streit will become a free agent once again if the Flyers cannot come to terms with the 35-year-old defenseman.
“Mark is a player we would have had interest in on July 5th,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “We now have exclusive negotiating rights and we are hopeful that we can get an agreement in place prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.”
The offensive-minded rearguard came to the NHL after eight seasons in the Swiss Elite League interrupted by a brief sojourn in North America with Springfield, Tallahassee and Utah in the minors for the 1999-2000 season. He returned to his native land during the last lockout, scoring seven goals and 19 assists in 32 games for Bern.
Should negotiations progress to the point where he is signed, Streit will have the unenviable task of being a big-name “replacement” for Chris Pronger, in a city and environment unlike Uniondale but not unlike the pressure-cooker of Montreal.
Harper, 24, spent last season split between Trenton in the ECHL and Adirondack of the AHL, picking up 19 goals and 37 points over 63 combined games. After a late-season demotion to the Titans, he set the league afire with 27 points in only 15 games.