According to Eric Engels of Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are “actively shopping” defenseman Mark Streit. This comes just a few months after the team signed him to a one-year, $700K contract in order to give them some depth on the blueline. As Engels writes, this is due in part to the play of Victor Mete who has forced himself onto the roster and is not eligible for the AHL.
The team, faced with too many defensemen as David Schlemko returns from his injury, will have to eventually make a decision to waive one of them. Streit seems like the easy choice, though Brandon Davidson and Joe Morrow are also candidates. The question is both whether Streit would clear waivers, and whether he would report to the AHL’s Laval Rocket. The 39-year old is less than a year removed from winning a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and could easily ride off into the sunset instead of riding the buses in the minor leagues.
Streit has played 786 games in his NHL career, beginning with Montreal back in 2005. While he was brought in to give the team a puck-moving option, Mete has more than filled that role while stepping in beside Shea Weber on the top pairing. Should Montreal bury Streit in the minors, or see him file his retirement papers, the team will be on the hook for his $700K cap hit. Since he was older than 35 at the time he signed his deal, the cap hit is applied regardless. While that’s not a huge problem, it is likely why the Canadiens would rather trade him than simply waive him.