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Streit rejects Isles’ offer, will head to free agency

Jun 4, 2013, 12:42 PM EDT

Mark Streit Getty Images

Mark Streit‘s time on Long Island could be coming to an end.

On Tuesday, Newday’s Arthur Staple reported Streit, the Islanders’ captain since 2011, has rejected the team’s “best” offer and will head to free agency when his current contract — a five-year, $20.5 million deal — expires.

Streit, 35, was a key member of the Isles this year. He led all New York defensemen in scoring (27 points) and finished second on the team in power play points, with eight.

In the playoffs, he tied John Tavares for the team playoff scoring lead (five points) and averaged over 20 minutes a night.

Following the Islanders’ first-round exit against Pittsburgh, Streit told Newsday he wanted to return to New York.

“I’ve said it all along, I want to be back,” he explained. “I love it here, I love Long Island and the organization has been great to me.”

But it appears for all that love talk, money got in the way.

Here’s more:

The Islanders are believed to have made a three-year offer for the same $4.75 million per season that Lubomir Visnovsky accepted on the eve of the trade deadline (Visnovsky’s deal is for two years), but Streit is looking for north of $5.5 million per season.

With the free agent market for defensemen very thin, Streit could command $6 million per year and even possibly get a four-year deal. The Islanders wanted Streit back to keep the continuity Garth Snow has built, but the Isles GM is also not interested in busting his salary structure to keep Streit.

It’s easy to see why Streit would want to test free agent waters.

He’s primed to hit the market at a time where defensemen are at a premium — he, along with Sergei Gonchar, Ron Hainsey, Ryan Whitney and Marek Zidlicky figure to headline the class, which gives a pretty good idea of how shallow the class is.

What’s more, this group of UFA blueliners actually thinned out last week when Los Angeles re-signed Robyn Regehr to a two-year, $6 million deal.

  1. pone27 - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Not good news Isles fans.

    While Streit is asking for a pretty large price tag at his age, he clearly has gas left in the tank, IMO is the best all-around Defenseman out of the ones selected above, and is the teams Captain (rightfully so.)

    My guess is the Isles offered him around 4.5 a season and he still backed off. Visnovsky I believe is the big reason why Snow wasn’t going to give into Streits demands.

    • jl9830 - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Yes it’s good news. As an Islander fan who has watched every game the past few seasons, Streit’s age started to show this season. He was a problem in his own zone and he was looking really slow. This is the perfect time to let him go; if the market is going to give him 4 years $24M, like this article says, thank goodness they let him walk.

      The Islanders have Matt Donovan and Calvin De Haan ready to go now, and will have Griffin Reinhart, Scott Mayfield, and others ready within the next 1-2 years. No need to commit 3+ years to a 36-year old Streit, especially for a team that can’t (yet) spend to the cap. You cannot commit ~$5M per year to Streit for the next few years.

  2. islesjb - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Nothing but respect for Streit. He’s been a great Islander during some pretty terrible years. He’s definitely going to land a fat contract so I don’t blame him for heading to free agency. Hopefully Visnosky, the youth and maybe a free agent signing or two can help fill the offensive void that Streit will leave behind.

    It’s been real. Now make way for Captain JT!

  3. sens101 - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    He would be a perfect replacement for Gonchar….even better because he is younger and a lot more mobile still…..Hope the sens take a shot at him for about three years 16.5 mllion to round out the top 4. He would be perfect to play with Cowen.

    • tastybasslines - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      3 years and 5.5 million a year in cap space sounds like alot to me for a guy on the tail end of his career.

      • jl9830 - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:54 PM


        This is why the Islanders are making the very smart move to let him go.

  4. sens101 - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    yeah definitely a little much… i thought the same about gonchar as well but he was solid during the last two years..i see streit as a similar if not the same player…..just four years younger

  5. LampyB - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Hoping the Wings get in on the bidding, we could use a veteran D

    • tmoore4075 - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Yeah I would like to see him. Colaiacovo will be bought out but once they sign Kindl and Smith that would put them at 7 D before Streit. I can’t imagine them keeping 8 D on team and don’t want to see DeKeyser sent to GR. Still would love to have him. I’d like their D a lot with him in there.

    • jakreidler - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      No way on God’s green earth Kenny out bids the Islanders on Streit.

  6. bcisleman - Jun 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Its unlikely the Isles will be able to replace Streiter’s blueline production in the near term. This definitely weakens them. Is the salary structure really more important than putting together a winner?

    • jl9830 - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      It’s actually pretty likely. He’s 36 years old! Perfect time to let him walk. We finally have enough organizational depth to not have to sign contracts like this. If you want to sign a 36-year old Streit so badly, when does Matt Donovan get a chance? Calvin De Haan? Eventually, Griffin Reinhart? Streit’s been a fantastic Islander for 5 years, but they’re making the right call in letting him walk.

  7. jaredo10 - Jun 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Rangers need to first find a coach. Then buy out Richards trade away Del Zotto and pay this man.. Our D would be set

    • islesjb - Jun 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      F that noise. That would be sickening

  8. 19to77 - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Paul Holmgren on line one, offering ten years, $7 million a season and a full no-movement clause.

    Wait, no, he’s saving that for Mike Smith.

  9. tjvalley - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    He consistently does not play good defensively. I agree with the isles play with him. I enjoyed his offense while he was here. It’s world class. Good luck streit…

  10. withseidelinn - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I think if the Leafs landed him he’d be very beneficial. Trade/buyout Liles and let Streit take his place. More of a veteran presence and more talent/ability. He can also bridge the gap for about 2 years until Rielly is 100% NHL ready. Not sure about $6m plus, but if it was around $5.5 for 3-4 years I think Nonis should go for it.

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