Report: The Canadiens offered Mark Streit a contract

The veteran defenceman may return to the team that drafted him

The Journal de Montreal is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens have offered Mark Streit a one-year contract valued at $1.5M.

The defenceman became an unrestricted free agent after his four-year contract signed with the Philadelphia Flyers expired this past season. He was traded at the deadline to the Pittsburgh Penguins and went on to capture the Stanley Cup, playing in three games during the playoffs.

At 39, Streit is very much on the decline of his career, but at $1.5M for the season represents a low risk for Marc Bergevin. As it is a 35+ contract, Streit’s full salary would remain on the cap for the entire season, regardless of Streit’s situation.

The benefit of bringing in Streit would be to add a puck-moving defenceman to the defensive corps who can anchor the power play. His defensive game is a weakness however, so he would have to play sheltered minutes at 5v5. 60% of his zone starts were in the offensive end last season.

Can Streit replace Markov?

This is a hard question to answer. Many are hoping that Markov’s signs for another year, but the asking price of $6M for two seasons seems a bit steep for the Canadiens. They may be trying to wait him out to see if he’s willing to lower his demands.

Can the Canadiens have both?

Theoretically the Canadiens have enough cap space to sign both Streit and Markov so we shouldn’t assume a mutually exclusive arrangement. It does however add more leverage for the Canadiens whenever they decide to press Markov for a counter-offer.

Streit was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth round of the 2004 entry draft, and is the most successful Trevor Timmins pick in terms of total games played in the NHL.

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