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Sources say Flyers reach deal with Streit

But the deal won't be executed until the Flyers have cap space.

The Flyers agreed in principal to a 4-year, $21 million deal with defenseman Mark Streit, according to a source. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP)
The Flyers agreed in principal to a 4-year, $21 million deal with defenseman Mark Streit, according to a source. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP)Read more

BOSTON - Spend now. Figure out how to pay for it later.

No, that isn't only the mantra of the U.S. government, but how the Flyers handle life in the NHL's salary-capped world.

The Flyers already have maxed out Ed Snider's credit card - also known as next year's $64.3 million salary-cap limit - and they're already spending again, before they've even chipped away at the debt.

That's because the Flyers agreed in principal to a 4-year, $21 million deal with defenseman Mark Streit, whom they acquired in a trade from the Islanders on June 12. Sources confirmed the deal, first reported by TSN's Darren Dreger in Canada.

General manager Paul Holmgren issued a statement and said there is "nothing to report,'' but that he continues to have talks with Streit's agent and he "remains confident that we will get something done.''

Announcing a deal would violate the salary cap.

Streit, 35, is a puck-moving, power-play specialist who will fit in nicely on the back end - but he comes at a steep price. At $5.25 million per season, Streit will be the team's second-highest paid defenseman behind Kimmo Timonen's $6 million.

Since Streit is 35 already, the deal will count against the team's cap for all 4 years, regardless of whether he is still playing or retired.

The agreement with Streit remains unsigned, however, because it would push the Flyers over the summer allowance of 10 percent above the established cap. It will be executed and registered with the NHL once the Flyers have available salary-cap space.

In other words, Holmgren has some serious trimming to do - either through amnesty buyouts or trade - before free agency opens on July 5.

Many believe Streit's agreement spells the official end to the tenures of Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported yesterday that both Briere and Bryzgalov will be bought out via the new compliance "amnesty" clause in the collective bargaining agreement.

Players may be bought out beginning 48 hours after the Stanley Cup finals end - no later than June 28, or 2 days after a possible Game 7.

Cutting ties with Briere, 35, and Bryzgalov, 32, would free up $12.17 million.

A source close to the situation told the Daily News that the Flyers were considering trying to trade Briere prior to June 30's draft in New Jersey. Instead, the source said the Flyers have settled on making Briere an early free agent. He has 2 years left on his deal at $6.5 million per season; with a no-movement clause, he would need to approve a trade.

The Flyers and Briere's camp, including agent Pat Brisson, have kept in close touch regarding the matter. Brisson also represents Streit, Claude Giroux and Max Talbot.

Bryzgalov has 7 years and $34.5 million left on his contract. Given his mediocrity in net, quirky personality and the team's cap crunch, the chance to buy him out seems too good to pass on.

In addition to a cap crisis, the Flyers also have a logjam on defense. They have $26.02 million committed to seven defensemen next season, not including Chris Pronger's $4.91 million or restricted free agent Erik Gustafsson. That leaves many wondering whether Holmgren will soon be parting ways with either Andrej Meszaros or Nick Grossmann, adding to an already-intriguing summer makeover.

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