Defenseman Mark Streit was expected to be one of the most sought-after defenseman available before this season’s trade deadline. Recent rumors seem to suggest that Streit will be staying with the New York Islanders and that the team is trying to work out a contract extension for their captain. It is commendable that after three seasons with the Islanders, Streit sees that this year’s team has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs and that he wants to be around to finish what he started.
Keeping Streit around is a great move on the Islanders’ part too. Not only does he lead the team’s defense in scoring, he is fourth on the team with four goals and 14 points. Eight of those points have come on the power play, which makes Streit even more valuable to his team. Only John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Brad Boyes have done more offensively, and no other Islander sees anywhere close to the ice time that Streit does. The continued development of Travis Hamonic and Thomas Hickey is important to the future of this Islanders team, and having Streit around to learn from will help the two youngsters continue to grow.
It is increasingly rare to see a player choose to stick around rather than chase a potential payday and a guaranteed postseason trip. Streit deserves a lot of respect for choosing instead to try and make his current team a postseason contender and lead by example on and off the ice. He has not been to the playoffs since the 2007-08 season, when he was a member of the Montreal Canadiens.