After TSN reported the Flyers had agreed to a four-year, $21 million deal with Mark Streit, general manager Paul Holmgren said that wasn't the case (wink, wink) on Monday night, but that he was "confident" of getting the veteran defenseman under contract.
But if you connect the dots, Streit is a Flyer.
The Flyers don't have the cap space to sign the puck-moving Streit. They will in the near future if they use a compliance buyout on Danny Briere. (The Streit deal also seems to increase the odds of the Flyers buying out Ilya Bryzgalov.)
Teams cannot start the compliance-buyout process until 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Finals end.
Streit, who will turn 36 in December - he will be 39 when the contract ends - can become an unrestricted free agent if he doesn't sign with the Flyers by July 5.
When Streit is officially signed, he will have a $5.25 million cap hit per season. That means the Flyers' top six defensemen next year - Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Nick Grossmann, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros and Streit - will have a combined $26.85 million cap hit for 2013-14. That's 41.8 percent of the team's $64.3 million cap.
Since 2006-07, Streit has 241 points in 367 games. According to TSN, that is the seventh-best points-per-game average (0.66) among NHL defensemen.
That's the good news. The bad news (besides the fact the Flyers are getting older instead of acquiring a player like Phoenix's Keith Yandle): Over the last two years, Streit is minus-41, tied for the worst among league defensemen.
Yandle, 26, is reportedly available for the right price. He has three years left on a deal that has an annual cap hit of $5.25 million, the same as Streit's.
But the asking price for Yandle would have probably been Sean Couturier and some draft picks.
"We're happy with where we are," said a Flyers executive. "And we didn't have to give up anything" to get Streit.
Streit is a similar player as former Flyer Matt Carle, who signed a six-year, $33 million deal ($5.5 million cap hit) with Tampa Bay as an UFA last year. Carle, an excellent shot blocker, was 27 at the time.
Streit will help the Flyers on the power play and he will trigger the offense by getting the puck to the forwards quickly. He is also a good leader.
That said, he is on the downside of his career, and Holmgren is taking an expensive risk.