We learned last week while dissecting what would be Streit's final season on Long Island, that the Swiss national's salary demands outpaced what the team was offering. Throw in a few prospects worth getting a look at and the emergence of waiver pick-ups Brian Strait and Thomas Hickey and suddenly the captain, of all people, looks more and more like the odd man out.
Judging by last season, the Flyers need all they help they can get on defense. And Philly being Philly, Streit's age and asking price aren't enough to scare off Paul Holmgren. The already warm buyout talk about Daniel Briere and Iyla Bryzgalov will only intensify if the Flyers end up signing Streit to the three-year $5.5-$6 million a season he was reportedly asking for.
Considering the other free agent defensemen available this summer (Ron Hainsey! Marek Zidlicky! Ryan Whitney's knees!), Streit was/is looking at a big pay day from someone. It just wasn't going to be the Islanders. By making the trade, Holmgren gets first crack at the belle of the ball.
So the Islanders get a fourth rounder in next year's draft and left wing Shane Harper, who spent last season between Adirondack of the AHL and Trenton of the ECHL. His stats are... all over the place, but it seems as if he was a throw in to keep the Flyers under the 50-contract limit. At 6' and 190 pounds, I'm sure he'll be labeled "too small" anyway. He's also an RFA this summer.
And thus ends the Mark Streit era for the Islanders. An excellent player, an occasional magician and a very good captain and teacher during a difficult time for the franchise. Should the Islanders go on to have success without him, the records won't do justice to the hard work and smiling face he put on while trudging through some long rough patches during his five year tour. Whether he stays with the Flyers or signs elsewhere, he has my respect always.
The bad news is that now I'm in the market for a new shir-sey to replace my No. 2 one. I think I'll pick up a No. 3 Hamonic shirt the next time I'm near the Coliseum.
And now, a Top 10 Tribute to Mark Streit, courtesy of MikB.