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Streit may be 35, but he doesn’t feel old

Jul 10, 2013, 11:23 AM EDT

Mark Streit Getty Images

When a 35-year-old gets a four-year contract in the NHL, there are going to be questions about his ability to stay healthy for the duration of the deal.

Such was the case when defenseman Mark Streit signed with the Philadelphia Flyers last month.

Streit, however, doesn’t see his age as an issue. In his opinion, it’s not the years that count; it’s the mileage. And after spending most of his 20s playing in Switzerland, he’s only racked up 491 games on his NHL odometer.

“There is a big difference when you are 35 and have played 15 years [versus] playing eight,” Streit said Tuesday, per CSN Philly.

“The wear and tear is big in the NHL. I feel great, feel healthy,” Streit said. “I had one unfortunate season with Islanders when I was hurt the whole year, but other than that, I played almost all games every year. I’m in good shape. I want to play a long time. I can help this team.”

That “one unfortunate season” was 2010-11, when he missed all 82 games with a shoulder injury.

If he can avoid further misfortune in Philly, he’ll have an opportunity to put up big numbers on a Flyers team with plenty of offensive firepower.

“I’m a puck-moving defenseman,” Streit said. “It goes hand-in-hand. You want to feed the forwards with good passes. You want to follow up the play and join the rush. There is so much skill here up front, such big potential.”

  1. chazxcore - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    35 with less than 500 NHL games.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      not bad considering he’s only been in the league 8 years and with 491 games he shouldnt be as busted and broken as a 35 year old with 700-800 games would be. he got drafted in 2004 when he was 27 and then missed the lockout year- he’s turned out to be a pretty good hockey player and he just took the long road to the nhl (he’s swiss after all). i’d be ok with a guy who’s 35 with only 500 games and two years removed from major injury that he’s obviously fully recovered from.

    • c9castine - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Similar stories I think with a guy like Kunitz or dupuis for the pens….took them a while to get to the nhl and you see them still improving every year. Never thought of it that way the guys who make it real young do tend to diminish around age 35

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      I think there’s a tradeoff to be made for guys who play overseas or in the minor leagues for a long time though. Sure you don’t have the wear and tear of an NHL season but you also don’t have the the top notch training staff, nutritionist, doctors, accommodations, travel, etc…

      Part of me thinks it may actually be more difficult to not be in the NHL because of those factors.

  2. chrisk61 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    i predict all 3 signings — streit, lecav and emery — contribute hugely to flyers this yr.

    now flyers gotta make a couple hard decisions on defense, dump coburn and meszaros, replace those 2 disappointments (although meszaros gets a pass somewhat due to injury) with younger and move on.

    • claudegirwho - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      That’s a bold prediction cotton

      • somekat - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        thumbs up for the dodgeball reference

      • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        he had to get them in before it goes off Comedy Central and nobody remembers any quotes from that movie anymore.

    • hockey412 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      You want to replace Meszaros, who’s 27 and was badly missed last year, and Coburn, who’s 28, with younger, more inexperienced players? That seems odd to me – but more power to you.

      Those are both 1st rounders, and they may not be the best in the league, but they aren’t the worst on the team, if you’re talking about replacing people. Just seems to me they had a bunch of younger guys try to step up last year. Now that everyone is healthy, more veteran leadership added in Streit, they may have a good D-core this year.

      • somekat - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        They are also guys eating up near 5M in cap space each, who’s play don’t justify it

      • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        correction to somekat: who’s play LAST SEASON didn’t justify it. nobody complained over those contracts when they were signed (well maybe Mes a little bit) or even before last season started. they’re good contracts being evaluated after a bad, short year. that mentality is why the Flyers have traded away so many good players and eventual cup-winners over the years

      • ryanrockzzz - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        I thinking keeping them would be ideal if it wasn’t for the cap. Certainly outside of that, there is no huge reason to move them. But the Flyers are the Yankees of the NHL (abeilt less successful) so there’s always some salary cap mess they have to get around.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        ryanrockzzz. MLB has no cap. NHL has a cap. there is no Yankees of the NHL. just because they struggle with the cap doesn’t mean they have some extra advantage. also, they’re just fine on the cap right now. name one other piece on FA that you’d sign if you had the cap room. there aren’t many worth the money that the Flyers don’t have room for.

      • somekat - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        they were never “good” contract. While they may not have been “bad” either, neither was playing on anything that could be considered a home town discount.

        Both of them were signed under the old cba, while they may be worth what they are getting paid with 10 mil more on the cap, it isn’t there, and they aren’t worth it. Even in the old cba, I wouldn’t have any interest in Coburn at that price. He was a guy that was given money on potential, he has not lived up to it. He’s had every opportunity, and only looked good when playing next to a HOF player

      • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        you’re absolutely wrong. Coburn played only 70% of the games in a short season due to injury. losing games combined with playing poorly with his injuries is hardly a reason to forget the last SIX FULL-LENGTH SEASONS of solid defensive play. he had an off year and just like Holmgren has done in the past, you’re trying to throw him away and deem him worthless. and you’re trying to escalate this to make your point. they aren’t making 10mil. they’re making 8.5mil. significant difference. paying 2 of your top 4 d-men JUST over 1/8 of your payroll is not a bad thing. i agree, i’m not quite convinced on Meszaros being what the Flyers need, but throwing Coburn away right now would be foolish. but here’s where I think you’re being extra zealous on how you would handle Coburn’s contract. if you think his contract is so horrible, why do you think it’d be so easy to trade him (with the same contract for 3 more years) away for something that will fill his spot just as well? it simply wouldn’t happen. you might find a trade partner willing to take a discount for having to take the contract he “isn’t worth,” but how is that helping the flyers. we aren’t struggling with cap ATM (Pronger to be put on LTIR, and excess players on the current active roster), why give up a player for a worse player to make cap room you don’t need?

        also, a contract that isn’t a rip-off for either party is considered a good contract in my book. AKA, it doesn’t take underpaying a player to consider their contract good.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        judging by the thumbs up on ryanrockzzz statement that the Flyers are struggling with the cap, and the thumbs downs on mine that say they aren’t… you may want to check this eval of the flyers cap situation out before thinking they’re stuck. this was before the Emery signing, and they filled in the extra goalie hole with Thomas’ 3.5mil cap hit instead of Emery’s significantly lower contract.

        we have plenty of room.

  3. ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    yooooo I’m 25 with 0 games on my NHL odometer. lemme get a contract Flyers. i’m as fresh as an 18 year old.

    • kingcobraman - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      can you skate, shoot and score some goals.? can u play a physical game ?

      • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        invalid questions. i’m a goalie.

  4. kingcobraman - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    that explains it… to many pucks to the head…. buy a mask or join the circus…

    • ibieiniid - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      explains what? i was just making a joke… TRYIN TO GET THAT DOUGH

  5. Habib Marwan - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    coburn’s becoming stale back there always looks like he’s just tired and going through the motions , move him for someone younger and cheaper

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