PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Mark Streit from the New York Islanders Wednesday for minor-league forward Shane Harper and a fourth-round pick in 2014.
Streit, the Islanders’ team captain, has 65 goals and 288 points in 491 regular-season NHL games, and is a sharp, left-handed shot from the blue line that is much-needed as Philadelphia reshapes its roster.
Streit, though, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, meaning he can sign anywhere. But the Flyers now own his rights until then, and can negotiate a new deal with him exclusively until that time.
The 35-year-old Streit joined the Islanders as a free agent in 2008, led the team in scoring his first season with 56 points and was an All-Star. Should he stay with Philadelphia, he would bolster the Flyers’ backline, which was decimated by injuries last season and was a prime reason the club did not make the postseason.
“Mark is a player we would have had interest in on July 5th,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the team’s website. “We now have exclusive negotiating rights and we are hopeful that we can get an agreement in place prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.”
Streit made $4.1 million this season in New York, and had six goals and 27 points. Though he has impressive scoring totals for a defenseman, Streit’s value — and his reputation around the league — is more for being a workhorse and an anchor on the backline. This season, as the Islanders secured the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, Streit played in all 48 games. He also had three goals and five points in a six-game, first-round loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Penguins extend Bylsma
Dan Bylsma was provided a big vote of confidence by the Penguins on Wednesday.
General manager Ray Shero announced a two-year extension for Bylsma and assistants Tony Granato and Todd Reirden. The extension will keep Bylsma under contract through the 2015-16 season.
Bylsma had a year remaining on his current deal.
“I really believe we have a great head coach in Dan Bylsma… he’s the coach to move us forward,” Shero said.
Shero met with Penguins majority co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle at length Tuesday. During an extensive review of the organization, Shero and ownership discussed Bylsma’s future along with other matters, including a long-term contract with star center Evgeni Malkin.
Shero lobbied hard for a Bylsma extension.
Shero met Monday with Malkin’s agent, J.P. Barry, who described their discussion as productive.
The Penguins want to agree on a deal with Malkin soon. The final year of his contract kicks in July 5, and at that point Malkin will hold a full no-trade clause — similar to what allowed Jarome Iginla to block a deal between Calgary and Boston during this past regular season.
Malkin and captain Sidney Crosby offered votes of confidence for Bylsma during season-ending meetings with Shero.
Bylsma took over in February 2009, leading to the Penguins to the Stanley Cup that June.
He is the fastest coach in NHL history to 200 career wins, and his 36 playoff victories are a Penguins record.
However, the Penguins are 20-21 in the postseason under Bylsma since that 2009 Cup victory, and they were swept from the Eastern Conference final by Boston.