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Streit's crazy day has happy ending

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

It was a strange day for newly acquired Pens defenseman Mark Streit. But at least it had a happy ending. 

"To play for Pittsburgh I'm really excited and really thrilled," Streit said. "There's only 20 games to go in the regular season and hopefully we make a run again at the Stanley Cup."

Streit, who woke up this morning as a Philadelphia Flyer, had a feeling that he would be traded Wednesday for the NHL's annual trade deadline after speaking in the morning with general manager Ron Hextall.

But what Streit didn't know is that he would not only be traded, but he would be traded twice. First Philadelphia sent Streit to Tampa Bay early in the morning. Then, right at the 3 p.m. deadline, Tampa Bay traded Streit to Pittsburgh.

"It was a crazy day for me," Streit, 39, said. "I got moved to Tampa and I figured that might not be the last destination today. They traded me to Pittsburgh. A quick turnaround."

Streit is an offensive defenseman with a solid breakout pass and is a gifted skater. His blend of skill should fit in well with the Pens' system, which emphasizes defensive zone breakouts that lead to speed through the neutral zone. Streit, a left-hand shot, also is an option to quarterback the power play and can play on the right or left side.

"He's a veteran guy. He's played in the league a long time," Pens head coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think he brings a puck-moving ability to his game. We can use him on the power play. Mark's a good player."

Rutherford spoke early in the day with Hextall about making a deal happen. But the price wasn't right. At the end of the day, Rutherford got his man and feels lucky the team was able to add Streit to the squad.  

"He was on our shortlist of defensemen we wanted to acquire. As the day went along we made it happen," Rutherford said. "We had a lot of information on his character. We know what a great guy he is. In the early going he can play with one of our younger guys. That was an important addition."

Streit will fly to Pittsburgh Thursday morning to meet with the team and will be in the lineup when the Pens host his former team (sort of) the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.  

"It's good that there's a game right away," Streit said. "I can get my feet wet. It'll be a challenge against a really good Tampa Bay team.

"I can't wait to join the team."

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