News broke on Monday that the Philadelphia Flyers have indeed been asked about the availability of defenseman Mark Streit, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. So would a deal of Streit make sense for the Flyers, and what could they expect to get in return? Is it even all that possible?
Should the Flyers try to trade him?
Streit is the asset that Ron Hextall should be trying the hardest to sell. He's still a useful defenseman, but at age 38, the Swiss blueliner is clearly slowing down, particularly in terms of acceleration. Streit has one more year left on his contract with a cap hit of $5.25 million, and it would be wise to try to find another team willing to allocate that cap space to a 39-year old.
In addition, Streit's role has shrunk with the emergence of Shayne Gostisbehere, who has taken over as the quarterback of the top power play unit and is pushing for top-four minutes at even strength.
The Flyers don't have a large enough need for a puck-mover like Streit to necessitate taking the risk of his value falling off a cliff next season. Also, with prospects Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Samuel Morin on the way, roster space at the NHL level has to be opened up. The equation is different for a team in championship contention. Streit still holds value for a team looking for a skilled blueliner in the here and now, and that team may be willing to risk the possibility of his play declining next season.
Will the Flyers try to trade him? And if so, will they succeed?
It would be a major surprise to hear that Hextall and the Flyers are not open to moving Mark Streit. But there are a number of hurdles to clear for a trade to go down. First, there's the very legitimate age concern that teams may have, and the fact that Streit's statistical performance this season has been underwhelming. Second, he does have a limited no-trade clause, which could complicate any negotiations.
But the biggest issue for the Flyers will be that last year of Streit's contract. $5.25 million is a substantial cap hit for a 39-year old defenseman in normal times, but with the salary cap ceiling likely to remain stagnant in 2016-17 due to the weakness of the Canadian dollar, buyers could be hesitant to take on that large of a commitment. In addition, Philadelphia can no longer retain salary in a trade since they have already reached the maximum allowed (Nicklas Grossmann, Luke Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier). Therefore, they cannot use that option to make Streit more attractive to a cap-strapped contender.
Philadelphia will likely have conversations regarding Streit. But finalizing a trade will be hard work for Hextall.