Defenseman Mark Streit was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the Tampa Bay Lightning after they acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
The Penguins are missing three of their top six defensemen because of injuries. Kris Letang didn't play against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Wednesday because of an upper-body injury, the third straight game he's missed. Olli Maatta is expected to be out at least another four weeks after having surgery on his left hand Feb. 17. Trevor Daley had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Feb. 23 and is expected to be out six weeks.
Video: Rosen explains the Streit deals; Flyers get Filppula
Streit, 39, has 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 49 games this season. In 11 NHL seasons with the Flyers, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens, he has 428 points (95 goals, 333 assists) in 765 games. Streit also is in the final season of a four-year, $21 million contract with an average annual value of $5.25 million, according to CapFriendly.com. He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"He's obviously a veteran guy," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's played in the League a long time. He brings a puck-moving ability to his game, we can use him on the power play. Mark's a good player. With some of the injuries we have, I think [the front office] was looking to try to improve our depth on defense, so that we have the best chance to succeed moving forward."
The Flyers started Wednesday by trading Streit to the Lightning for center Valtteri Filppula and fourth- and seventh-round picks in the 2017 NHL Draft. Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall said the trade satisfied his goal of making his team younger. Streit is 39, and the Flyers have a wealth of young defensemen at the NHL level (Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov) and in the American Hockey League (Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, Samuel Morin).
Streit also was part of the Flyers' leadership group, but Hextall said he feels Filppula, 32, can be a solid replacement.
"I talked to Mark right after and thanked him for everything he's done for us because you'll go a long ways before you'll find a better person, a better example for your young players than Mark Streit," Hextall said. "Everything I've heard about Valtteri, very similar traits. … When I talked to [Lightning GM] Steve [Yzerman] after the deal was done he told me that you won't find a better person or a better pro than Filppula."
Trading Filppula made Yzerman's job easier when it comes to managing the salary cap and preparing for the NHL Expansion Draft. Filppula has a $5 million salary-cap charge next season and a no-movement clause that would have forced the Lightning to protect him. The Lightning are trying to free up money and protection slots for restricted free-agent forwards Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.
"These particular moves had to be made at some point and our record dictated that we had to make them now," said Yzerman, whose team is five points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "If I do nothing, I probably lose a player off the roster that I prefer not to."
The Lightning received a 2018 fourth-round pick from Pittsburgh for Streit.