The Pittsburgh Penguins made a pair of trades on Wednesday and one of them involved acquiring veteran defenseman Mark Streit from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fourth round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Streit was only on the Lightning for about an hour before Tampa shipped him to Pittsburgh since they were able to create some cap space by moving him and Valterri Filppula. Pittsburgh was able to acquire Streit because they shipped out Eric Fehr to Toronto as a salary dump and also put Trevor Daley on LTIR for the rest of the regular season which takes his cap hit away. Here’s a look at how Mark Streit is a great fit for the Penguins for the rest of the season.
Can play on the power play
Mark Streit has always been a good puck-moving defenseman and because of that, he’s played a lot on the power play over his career. He quarterbacked the first power play unit when he was with the New York Islanders and he quarterbacked the second power play unit when he was with the Flyers since Shayne Gostisbehere was on the top unit.
Streit will likely man the point on the second unit with Justin Schultz (when Kris Letang is healthy) but for now he will be quarterbacking the unit by himself since Schultz is on the first unit. He has a great shot by the point which is evidenced here when he blasted a slap shot past Henrik Lundqvist last season:
He could potentially rack up some points down the stretch if the power play starts to put up some more points.
Can jump into the rush
To fit Mike Sullivan’s system, each defenseman has to be able to jump into the rush and Streit can do it very effectively since he’s an offensive defenseman. Even though he’s aging, he can still skate very well into the offensive zone and let the forwards do their work.
He generates shots very well too as you see his HERO Chart here:
He generates shots at a top 2 level for defenseman even though his shot supression numbers are down as he’s not known for being a shutdown defender in his own zone. Streit played with Ron Hainsey last night in his first game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and they were on the top pairing. He also scored when he got a beautiful pass from Sidney Crosby to put the Penguins up 3-2 in the third period. Even though he was on the top pairing, playing on the bottom pairing I think is better for Streit because you don’t wanna give a 39 year old top pairing minutes all the time, ideally.
Playing him in the top four also wouldn’t be bad down the stretch but he’s going to have more than enough of an opportunity to try and seal a spot in the top six for the playofs since Pittsburgh will have eight quality defenseman to choose from when the playoffs start.
Overall, this was a very good trade from Jim Rutherford as he was able to find a veteran defenseman who fits Mike Sullivan’s system and a guy who can move the puck up the ice very efficiently.