Philadelphia couldn’t wait until the start of the free agent period to get offensive defenseman Mark Streit.
The Flyers turned over prospect Shane Harper and a 2014 fourth-round draft pick to the New York Islanders to get the rights to Streit so that they could negotiate with him before anyone else.
“It’s an exciting time for me,” Streit told CSN Philly. “Obviously I’m excited to get traded to Philadelphia. I’m not sure what’s going to happen the next few weeks — or days — it’s part of my agent’s job to work that out with Paul, but Philly has an unbelievable team.
“It’s a great franchise and a great city and it’s a hockey town for sure. The fans there are great and that’s why I always liked playing in Philly. The team is really good. It’s well-structured. It’s young and fast and it would be a great honor to play for the Flyers.”
Streit is 35 years old, but he’s still a serious offensive threat and a great weapon to have with the man advantage. He’s also got plenty of leadership experience after serving as the captain of the young Islanders.
Streit’s agent, Pat Brisson, hopes to get something worked out with the Flyers before July.
“I’m pretty confident,” Streit said of his chances of being signed by Philadelphia. “I think that maybe they need a few days or weeks, but I’m pretty positive. It’d be awesome to play for the Flyers.”
If Streit signs, will Flyers buy out Bryzgalov, Briere?
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.