To Go Streit Ahead or Trade Streit Away?

At this moment, Islanders captain Mark Streit is sitting and wondering if he will receive a phone call from GM Garth Snow to tell him that he has been traded (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr).

It was tweeted out yesterday by Darren Dreger of TSN and reinforced by Newsday reporter Arthur Staple that negotiations on a contract extension for Streit have stalled with the Islanders.

The club apparently does not want to trade the 35-year old defenseman and would much rather keep his veteran presence part of the late season playoff push. But unless things change, he will be a UFA by this summer.

It was reported earlier this week that Streit is seeking somewhere around a three-year deal. Snow has already shown in the past that he is weary of signing older players to contracts of that length. P.A. Parenteau and Jason Blake are two players that immediately come to mind.

Throw in Streit's poor plus/minus rating over the years and steady decline in offensive production, and it is no wonder why Snow is hesitant about keeping him until he is 38 years old. In addition, the Islanders have a steady group of defense prospects (Griffin Reinhart, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness and Calvin de Haan) that will be looking to make the jump to the NHL in the very near future.

Furthermore, Snow recently signed Lubomir Visnovsky to a respectable two-year extension while also signing defense prospect Andrey Pedan to an entry-level deal.

Pedan, who will be reporting to the Sound Tigers, has put up 40 and 44 points in each of his past two seasons with the Guelph Storm of the OHL. He also is 6'4, 211 pounds and has racked up over 140 penalty minutes in that time span as well.

With a veteran presence secured on the blue line and a steady crop of big and young d-men ready to earn their keep, letting go of Streit might not be such a crazy idea.

But the immediate question that comes to mind is how serious Snow is about keeping Streit despite some offers that might come his way. He is the veteran, puck-moving defenseman that many playoff teams covet around this time of year. Several young and desperate times, such as the Edmonton Oilers, may be interested in a guy like Streit to bolster their blue line.

But that leaves Radek Martinek to take over his spot, who despite being a valuable player in the games he has dressed, is not exactly of the same caliber.

Unless a deal comes along that Snow cannot refuse, it would probably be in the team's best interest to keep their captain until the season is over. If he cannot be re-signed for a reasonable price, he has already secured Visnovsky for next year and is aware of the young talent that he has ready to go in Bridgeport.

But until 3 PM, Streit's future will remain in limbo.

-Rob McGowan

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