A few days ago Newsday Sports’ writer Arthur Staple tweeted that New York Islanders captain Mark Streit will not be returning to the team next season:
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 4, 2013
Since he will not return, Streit will enter unrestricted free agency and will be a well sought after defenseman during the period hockey fans like to call “free agent frenzy.” A lot of teams will be interested in adding extra depth to their defense, so Streit will be of interest to many teams.
But what about the Philadelphia Flyers?
The Flyers have a very weak defense and they need to do everything they can to get a powerful defenseman to help build up the team next season. Especially since we know veteran Kimmo Timonen is on the cusp of retirement. General Manager Paul Holmgren really likes to go after defenseman through trades and free agency and has no qualms about trying to go after a big name. We saw this last offseason when he tried unsuccessfully to acquire Shea Webber from the Nashville Predators. So, will Holmgren move some pieces to acquire Streit this offseason?
It would be a very Holmgren move, and we can definitely see this happening. Streit is a top four defenseman and he would take a lot of pressure off Timonen, but just how much would the Flyers need to shell out to get him on their team? It may be more than they can afford, especially since the team is already over the salary cap and would definitely need to shed $3 million in order to sign Streit.
It’s also being reported that he’s leaving the Isles due to money and is looking for north of $5.5 million for each season. That may be too much for the Flyers to take on, which means someone is definitely going to get amnestied in the offseason. Streit is not the only UFA option for the Flyers, but there are not too many defenseman going UFA this year, so they might get stuck spending more money than they want to.