The Flyers took their second step forward in bolstering their defense Monday by agreeing in principle to a four-year, $21 million deal with Mark Streit, according to NHL sources.
TSN broke the story.
The Flyers denied the signing with this statement from general manager Paul Holmgren:
"We continue to have talks with Mark's agent. Although there is nothing to report, we remain confident that we will get something done."
They can’t announce any deal if they don’t have the cap space for next season.
Because of the "tagging" rule concerning players under contract for next season and the salary cap, the Flyers are already over the cap by more than $2 million, according to CapGeek.com.
The cap falls from $70.2 to $64.3 million next season.
They can't announce a signed contract until they become cap compliant -- which is to say they can’t go more than 10 percent over the cap.
Two club sources say Danny Briere will be bought out, but as CSNPhilly.com reported last week, a decision on Ilya Bryzgalov remains up in the air. The Flyers can’t buy Bryzgalov out unless they have a concrete trade agreement for a goalie prior to issuing the buyout.
The club is prepared to trade another player if they can’t exercise a second buyout on Bryzgalov.
“It depends on circumstances,” a source said.
The Flyers, along with more than a half-dozen other clubs, remain interested in Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier.
Interestingly enough, Bernier changed agents today and is now represented by CAA Sports in Los Angeles.
That is Pat Brisson’s agency. He represents Streit, Briere, Claude Giroux, Max Talbot and now Bernier. Maybe Bernier thinks by moving to Brisson he can increase his chances of a trade to the Flyers?
All of this is indirectly connected because for the Flyers to begin adding players this summer, they first need to lose salary.
Streit’s deal averages $5.25 million. That means next season the Flyers will be paying $32.6 million to their defense as it now stands.
That includes Streit, Kimmo Timonen ($6 million), Chris Pronger ($4.94 million), who will go on LTIR eventually, Braydon Coburn ($4.5 million), Andrej Meszaros ($4.0 million), Luke Schenn ($3.6 million), Nick Grossmann ($3.5 million) and Bruno Gervais ($825,000). Those are players who would be on the roster.
What it does not include is RFA Erik Gustafsson, who would play over Gervais.
Either Coburn or Meszaros loom as candidates for a trade if the Flyers go that direction.
Streit, 35, was a pending unrestricted free agent from the Islanders, but now will be on the Flyers' blue line, following a trade last week and his quick signing.
A strong skater who moves the puck well, Streit will help the Flyers on their often troublesome breakout. He’ll also bolster one of the NHL’s best power plays this coming season, as well.
As an Islander, Streit, who has played seven years in the NHL, logged 23 minutes of ice time a game. He likely won’t need to play that many with the Flyers.
Brisson is still negotiating a long-term extension on Giroux, who would be an RFA next summer. Giruox’s signing could be next to come.
Brisson is expected to be involved with finding new work for Briere.
Indeed, Brisson is going to be very busy through June and July.
“I’m used to it; it’s all good,” he told CSNPhilly.com last week.