Minus Matt Carle, who signed a free-agent deal with Tampa Bay before last season, the Flyers were short a puck-moving defenseman who could jump-start the attack from the back end.

They think Mark Streit will solve the problem.

"He joins the rush and, at times, can lead the rush and make plays coming out of our end," general manager Paul Holmgren said, adding that Streit was an "offensive defenseman we felt we needed badly."

On June 12, the Flyers acquired Streit's rights from the New York Islanders and signed him a couple weeks later to a four-year, $21 million deal.

"If you watch him out there, he's always involved in the play," said defenseman Luke Schenn, who is expected to be Streit's defensive partner when the season starts Wednesday. "He's a great puck-moving guy, and he's going to be the quarterback on the power play. He'll get shots through, and his overall hockey sense and hockey smarts are as good as anyone's."

Since 2006-07, Streit has 241 points, the seventh-best points-per-game average (0.66) among NHL defensemen, according to TSN.

On the flip side, Streit, a 35-year-old Switzerland native who represented his country in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, is minus-41 over the last two years, which is tied for worst among league defensemen.

The defense struggled last season, and the Flyers hope Streit - and the return of good health on the blue line - will turn things around.

"They had a lot of injury problems last year, but I think we have a great unit," Streit said. "It's a great mix between younger and older guys."

- Sam Carchidi