Mark Streit to Test Market
It was reported earlier this week that Islanders Captain Mark Streit was set to depart the team as a Free Agent this summer as a contract extension could not be reached. This is fine by me, as much as Streit's still able to put up points, largely on the PP, he's not a long term piece any more and also just not very good in his own end anymore. Whatever the rumored price was, it wasn't going to end up a good business or personnel move for the Islanders. With the Rick DiPietro saga seemingly coming to an end this summer, the last thing the Islanders need is to over pay a past 35 3rd pair D who's a PP specialist. Streit wasn't going to provide the sort of value that Lubomir Visnovvsky can provide with his 2 year $9.5M pact with the team. While Viz is older than Streit, he's faster, still has a shot, and more importantly still plays the two-way game at a high level.
Streit's time with the Islanders will be marked as being the first Swiss captain in the NHL's history and as being a frequent point producer, most especially on the PP. However, while he went from a +5 player in his first season ('08-'09, a DREADFUL Islanders team) he slid all the way to a - Player after his torn Labrum (-27 in 2011-2012 and -14 in 2012-2013). People like to state that +/- is a flawed stat, but tell me where in Streit's advance stats does it indicate he was better in the defensive end the last two seasons than the first two seasons.
Streit's a useful player if you're looking to upgrade your Power Play and have the ability to limit his minutes in his own end. The Islanders could have used him to improve their second Power Play unit, which didn't produce nearly enough this season. But the cost/benefit of the supposed terms of the deal versus what the Islanders have gotten the last two seasons from Streit made it a hard pill to swallow.
In the end the Islanders head into this summer needing to name a new captain (look no further than John Tavares), as well as upgrades to the Defense and offense, and there's clamouring for a new Goaltender...I'll get into those more at another time. For now, thanks Mark for the 4 years of service and for being able to help in some small way to return the Islanders to the Playoffs.