By Allan Muir
Facing both a dearth of talent on their blueline and an historically weak free agent crop, the Philadelphia Flyers made a preemptive strike Wednesday. They acquired the rights to New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit in exchange for a fourth round pick in 2014 and Adirondack Phantoms winger Shane Harper.
It’s a low-risk/high-reward venture for Philly GM Paul Holmgren, a man with a lot of work ahead of him this summer to rebuild a team that came nowhere close to living up to expectations this season.
He’s had luck fishing these waters before, paying for the chance to negotiate exclusively with a player before they hit free agency, picking up Kimmo Timonen from the Predators. He’s also come up short, acquiring and then redealing Dan Hamhuis when he could seal a deal before free agency.
But at this point, it sounds like there’s a deal to be made with Streit, a 35-year-old with extremely low mileage on his tires after just seven years in the NHL.