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Switzerland's Streit is alright for Habs

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Offensive blueliner signs one-year deal with Montreal

Streit, who is the captain of the Swiss national squad, brings a well-stocked international hockey resume to Montreal.

MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey has turned to Europe, namely Switzerland, for a little help on the Habs' blue line with the signing of defenseman Mark Streit to a one-year contract.

Streit, 27, played for the Zurich Lions in the Swiss Elite league for the past five seasons. He ranked third on the Lions in scoring in 2004-05 with 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) in 44 games placing him among the league's top scoring defensemen. The native of Englisberg, Switzerland was selected in the ninth round, 262nd overall by the Canadiens at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder has also made his mark on the international stage as the captain of the Swiss National team. Streit's seven points in seven games at the 2005 World Hockey Championships helped lead an upstart Swiss team to a berth in the 2006 Olympics in Italy by virtue of their reaching the quarterfinals where they were only narrowly edged out 2-1 by Sweden.

Streit, who has played in the Swiss Elite League since 1995, spent the 1999-00 season in North America where he split time between the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks (ECHL), Utah Grizzlies (IHL) before playing 43 games with the AHL's Springfield Falcons.

Manny Almela is a writer for

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