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by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers began their offseason re-modeling of the roster by trading for a veteran defenseman Wednesday.

The Flyers shipped Shane Harper and a fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft to the New York Islanders for Mark Streit.

Streit, 35, is a pending unrestricted free agent, but the Flyers now own his rights and will have an opportunity to sign him to a new deal before he hits the free agent market July 5 and could sign with any of the 29 other teams in the NHL. He made $4.1 million last season as a member of the Islanders.

“Mark is a player we would have had interest in on July 5th," said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "We now have exclusive negotiating rights and we are hopeful that we can get an agreement in place prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.”

As New York’s captain for the past two seasons, he was considered a valuable piece to the Isles roster as part of their resurgence to becoming a playoff team last season.

He finished the shortened season with six goals and 21 assists for 27 points in 48 games. He had a solid, albeit brief playoff for the Islanders, scoring three goals and adding two assists for five points in just six games, as New York was eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The mostly-durable Streit is noted for his offensive game and his prowess on the power play. He has 65 goals and 223 assists for 288 points in 491 career games in parts of eight seasons with the Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. With the exception of a freak shoulder injury suffered during training camp prior to the 2010-11 season that cost him an entire year, Streit has missed just 15 games in six seasons.

The Swiss-born Streit was originally a ninth round pick (No. 262 overall) of the Canadiens in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft after playing for eight seasons in the Swiss Elite League.

A 2009 All-Star, Streit played for Switzerland in both the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics and also represented his homeland 12 times in the IIHF World Championships.

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