Mark Streit began his professional hockey career playing in the Swiss Nationalliga A for Fribourg-Gotteron at 18-years-old. After one season, he transferred to Davos where he played the next three seasons. Streit received a little attention from the National Hockey League and spent the 1999-00 season playing minor league hockey in North America, mostly with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. Unfortunately, no NHL team would give Streit a shot, leading him to rejoin the Nationalliga and play for the ZSC Lions. After four years with the ZSC Lions, Montreal drafted Streit with the 262nd pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Streit made his NHL debut for the Canadiens during the 2005-06 season, playing in 48 games and recording 11 points. Streit’s NHL game continued to improve his sophomore year as he laced his skates for 76 games and posted 36 points. By year three in Montreal, Streit flirted with the title “elite defenseman,” recording a career-high 62 points, finishing third in the league among blueliners in points.
After his breakout season in 2007-08, Streit hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. The Islanders rewarded Streit with a five-year contract worth $20.5 million. The 31-year-old blueliner repaid New York with a strong debut season, leading the team in scoring, and making his first all-star game. He would then put forth another respectable campaign the following year. Unfortunately, on September 25, 2010, Streit tore his shoulder labrum and rotator cuff, forcing him to miss the 2010-11 season. In his third year as an active player on the Islanders, Streit became the first Swiss-born player to be crowned a team captain in NHL history.
Set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2013, New York traded Streit’s rights to the Flyers at the end of the season. In return, the Islanders received Shane Harper and a 2014 fourth round pick.
Philadelphia Flyers Sign Mark Streit to a Four-Year Contract
On June 28th, the Flyers inked Streit to a four-year contract worth $21 million. The deal came with a $4.1 million annual cap hit.
Once in Philadelphia, Streit continued the same level of production he had displayed with the Islanders. He proved to be reliable in the team’s defensive zone while providing some offense as well. Additionally, Streit shined on the power play. In his 274 games with the Flyers, Streit recorded an impressive 61 points with at least a one-person advantage on the ice.
As time rolled on, Streit’s age did not fit into the youth movement taking place in Philadelphia. At the trade deadline of the final year of Streit’s contract, the Flyers dealt him to the Lightning in exchange for Valtteri Filppula, a 2017 fourth round pick, and a conditional seventh rounder. Tampa Bay immediately flipped him to Pittsburgh where he would win his first and only Stanley Cup.
Transaction Grade: B
Streit is one of the more underrated players to have recently retired from the NHL. There was no flash and fanfare, but the guy could produce and be counted on. Unfortunately, Streit came to the Flyers at an awkward time. The team was in the midst of a culture change and rebuild. That indeed isn’t ideal for a player in his mid-30’s approaching the end of his career. However, he rarely gave Flyers fans headaches. Of course, the same cannot be said for another blueliner that came from the Islanders.
Will the Streit contract go down in history as a fantastic deal? No; but it will never be seen as a bad one either. The Flyers respectable amount of money for a guy who came in and did his job night-in and night-out.