Last season may be the beginning of the end for defenseman Mark Streit with the Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Mark Streit has done a pretty good job of deying time. When he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2013, he was already 35 years old.
You might expect a rapid drop off at that point in someone’s career, but Streit scored 10 goals in his first season with the Flyers. He did even better the next season, with 9 goals and 52 points. That put him 10th in the NHL in scoring among defenseman.
It may be that now, finally, time is catching up to Streit.
Streit’s 5v5 possession this season was underwater, as shown above (he’s overlapping with MacDonald). His long-term trends also took a decided turn for the worse.
In these 3 seasons he has play with the Philadelphia Flyers, his primary points rate has slowly ticked down, while his shots against rate (teammate relative Corsi Against per 60) has been ticking up. The real problem though is that his shot production rate crashed last season (teammate relative Corsi For per 60). It could be adjusting to Hakstol’s system last season, but it’s more likely father time.
Of course Streit’s real value comes on the power play. He’s scored an awful lot of power play points and goals over the years, including the preceding 2 years in Philadelphia. This fall, that also fell apart.
The Flyers power play really got off to a poor start this season, and it limped along for quite a while. It was only when Shayne Gostisbehere arrived from the AHL with his offensive spark did things start to turn around. That was great news for the Flyers, but a mixed blessing for Streit.
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The combined result is that Streit is fading at 5v5, and that he has lost his most valuable role as power play point man to Ghost. That is a very poor combination. In the meantime however, the Flyers are still waiting for all the kids to arrive and Streit has 1 more year left on his contract.
One of the biggest running stories of the summer has been the Flyers trying to trade Streit. Thus far, nothing has materialized.
I think they Flyers would still like to move Streit, and it may even come during the upcoming season. There’s not a huge reward to the team for unloading Streit, but it would give some cap breathing space and open up a lineup spot for Ivan Provorov.
Right now the Flyers have 6 NHL defenseman under contract (Streit, MacDonald, Del Zotto, Gudas, Schultz and Ghost). Brandon Manning, with an arbitration date of August 2, would make it 7, and Ivan Provorov would make it 8. 8 is probably too many, and there are shuffling possibilities including sending Andrew MacDonald back to the AHL, as well as trading Streit. The solution to that problem is still anyone’s guess.
I think the main takeaway is that the Flyers already have one foot out the door on Mark Streit. Whether by trade or expiring contract, he won’t be around much longer. He is still here today, however, and the Flyers will hope that so long as he is here, one of the oldest players in the NHL still has a few more tricks (and goals) up his sleeves.