Mark Streit was due to become a former Islander on July 5, the first day of free agency, having turned down the Isles' final contract offer. The Isles moved up their captain's departure Wednesday, trading Streit to the Flyers for a 2014 fourth-round pick.
Considering that Streit, 35, had rejected a three-year, $14.25-million offer in April, the Isles got a tangible asset for their captain's rights. The Isles also acquired forward Shane Harper, a 24-year-old in the Flyers system, but his rights will not be retained, according to a source.
Another source indicated that Streit is "likely" to sign a contract with the Flyers before he hits the open market on July 5. Philadelphia is already over next season's $64.3 million salary cap, so the Streit signing will have to wait until the team either trades or buys out players. The buyout window opens 48 hours after the end of the Stanley Cup final.
"I think that maybe they need a few days or weeks, but I'm pretty positive," Streit was quoted as saying on the Flyers' team website. "The future is bright. They were in the Cup Finals three years ago and there is so much skill and a great mix between veteran players and young players, so I'm pretty confident and I truly hope it's going to get done soon."
Streit is seeking a four-year deal for at least $5 million per season. The average annual value is not much different from what the Islanders offered, but Isles general manager Garth Snow was unwilling to go beyond three years and, with a thin market for defensemen, Streit decided to seek other offers.
The Isles will need a new captain for 2013-14 and beyond. The logical choice is John Tavares, already a leader on and off the ice at age 22 after only four seasons. The team will not make a decision on that front until training camp begins in September.