Pending unrestricted free agent Mark Streit agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday to the tune of $21 million over four years. The deal will reportedly include a modified no-trade clause, in which Streit will be asked to submit a list of teams he would be willing to be moved to.
Philadelphia acquired the rights to the 35-year-old defenseman on June 12, after it was apparent that the veteran intended to test the free agent market. In return, the New York Islanders received minor league forward Shane Harper and a fourth round pick in 2014.
It’s important to note that this deal has been agreed on only in principle. The deal cannot be signed until Philadelphia has enough cap space to do so.
Streit, the Islanders’ captain since 2011, recorded six goals and 21 assists this past season. He played in all 48 games and helped guide his squad to their first playoff appearance since 2007. Streit was a big factor in playing the Pittsburgh Penguins tough over six games in the first round, contributing two goals and three assists from the blueline.
Streit first signed with the Islanders on the first day of free agency in 2008. He was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Bern, Switzerland spent three seasons in Montreal, skating mostly as a forward. Between Montreal and Long Island, Streit has tallied 65 career goals and 288 career points in 491 career games played.
Even at age 35, Streit would’ve been the most-coveted offensive-minded defenseman had he hit the open market on July 5. Clearly, Philadelphia was aware that it would take an above-market rate to ensure that he didn’t test the waters of free agency. Both the $5.25 million per season cap hit and the four-year term (which will take Streit to age 39) would be excessive for most any team, but the Flyers now find themselves in particularly hot water.
The salary cap will fall next season to $64.3 million from $70.2 million this past season. When I alluded earlier to Philadelphia needing to clear salary in order to formally ink Streit to this deal, I was referring to the 2012-13 salary cap limit. Teams are able to operate under the $70.2 million ceiling until July 5, and the Flyers are tight up against it with a cap payroll just north of $68.8 million. When July 5 rolls around, not only will Philly need to register no more than10% higher than the new upper limits, but they will lose the exclusive rights to negotiate with Streit if they have not done so.
One way or another, the addition of Streit likely means the subtraction of Ilya Bryzgalov and/or Daniel Briere. Philadelphia now appears to have no choice but to redeem one or two of their amnesty buyouts in order to remain cap compliant.
What do you think of the Mark Streit deal? Is this really the best way for Philadelphia to retool their lineup? Let me know @BostonNumber9 or my team @TMMotS and we’ll keep you updated on this and other stories on TooManyMenOnTheSite.com.