Despite months of aggressive rehab to return from a pre-season shoulder injury, Mark Streit’s 2010-11 season will end without a single game.
With less than three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Islanders announced yesterday that the 33-year-old defenseman is done for the year.
“The clock just kind of winded down for him,” general manager Garth Snow said before Thursday's 2-1 loss to Atlanta. “He has trained extremely hard to get back. He’s disappointed and we’re obviously disappointed he won’t be getting the medical clearance.”
“He missed a significant amount of time during the season and we as an organization want what’s best for him and us,” Snow continued. “For him to be 100% raring to go in September is the most important thing for everyone involved.”
Streit, who suffered a torn labrum, torn rotator cuff and dislocated left shoulder during an intrasquad game in September, never received clearance for full contact. Streit was not available for comment yesterday but Snow said he is “extremely disappointed.”
The former All-Star also will not be available to play for the Swiss team in next month’s World Hockey Championships.
Snow said he had not yet had that conversation with Streit, but does not “foresee” him playing.
“I’m not comfortable with an injury of this nature,” Snow said. “We’ve come this far in the healing process and the rehab. I’m not willing to take a risk like that.”
Snow said Streit will continue to skate and follow his rehab program through the rest of the season and beyond. His preparation for next season, Snow said, “won’t be compromised at all.”
“He’ll be 100% for training camp,” Snow said.
Coach Jack Capuano and Streit’s teammates sympathized with his difficult season.
"I feel bad for the kid," Capuano said. "I know how frustrated he must be. I could see it in his eyes today."
"It's got to be frustrating for him,” said defenseman Andrew MacDonald. “He was pretty devastated when it happened and we all felt really bad for him. We really missed him this year. He's the type of player that--especially during that stretch--could've really won us some games.”
Said Streit's rehab partner Kyle Okposo, who also suffered a pre-season shoulder injury:
"I can't even fathom how he feels.”
Snow said Streit’s injury—one of many during a season with a league-leading 518 man-games lost—was the team’s most significant absence.
Streit led the Islanders in ice time and finished third in scoring with 49 points (11 goals, 38 assists).
“He’s one of the top power-play QB defensemen in the league You don’t replace a player like Mark Streit. It would be tough to replace a guy like that in September or October; it would be tough to replace a guy like that July 1,” Snow said.
The best consolation for a season rife with injury and disappointment?
“The silver lining is we got to see a player like Travis Hamonic evolve; Andrew MacDonald, playing the way he has this year, that’s also a plus for us. Going into next year, those are positive signs.”