We’ll reserve final judgment until he signs a contract, but the initial reaction here is trading for Mark Streit was a good move for the Flyers, at least in the short-term. The team gave up next to nothing to acquire Streit’s rights, and he immediately becomes the club’s best offensive defenseman the moment he steps through the front door.
Perhaps nobody was more excited by the move than Streit himself. The 35-year-old blueliner spoke to Comcast SportsNet after the news came down. Not only does the former New York Islanders sound confident his agent will be able to get a deal worked out with general manager Paul Holmgren before free agency begins on July 5, he sure makes it sound as if Philadelphia would have been one of his top destinations anyway had he hit the market.
“It's an exciting time for me,” Streit said. “Obviously I'm excited to get traded to Philadelphia. I'm not sure what's going to happen the next few weeks -- or days -- it's part of my agent's job to work that out with Paul, but Philly has an unbelievable team.
“It's a great franchise and a great city and it's a hockey town for sure. The fans there are great and that's why I always liked playing in Philly. The team is really good. It's well-structured. It's young and fast and it would be a great honor to play for the Flyers.”
Streit expressed confidence that a deal would get done with the Flyers.
“I'm pretty confident,” he said. “I think that maybe they need a few days or weeks, but I'm pretty positive. It'd be awesome to play for the Flyers.
“The future is bright. They were in the Cup Finals three years ago and there is so much skill and a great mix between veteran players and young players, so I'm pretty confident and I truly hope it's going to get done soon.”
Due to his age and contract demands – he’ll probably settle for something in the three-years-at-$5.5-million-per range – Streit was not exactly the idea candidate to help fix the Flyers’ defense. However, his ability with the puck brings a dynamic that was often missing from the unit last season, which had a lot to do with the turnovers and inability to get the puck out of their own end at times.
Plus, and this can’t be said enough, the front office did not have to part with either Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn to upgrade the defense. We’ll see what kind of contract the Flyers wind up getting stuck with, but I'm alright with this for now.