Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
Mark Streit is old. The previous sentence is a fact, it cannot be disputed, at age 37, Mark Streit is old. It’s also not entirely a bad thing either. Players decline as they age, this isn’t a disputed fact, but among defenders who stay healthy enough to play into their late 30s and early 40s, there is really no reason to worry.
To review the chart on Hockey-Reference and modify it yourself: click here.
Having a look at other defenders who actually survived to play this long; we see many of them, like the immortal Nick Lidstrom maintained a solid level of play, even into their older years. Brett Hedican actually saw an uptick in performance while Francis Boullion fell off a cliff. Dan Boyle and Adrian Aucoin basically maintained their play while Sami Salo had 2 good years sanwiching one poor year. Effectively; any player who survives this long is likely to maintain a level of play through these years.
Via Own the Puck
Streit still carries a top pair level offensive game; and given his powerplay ability and puck moving ability, it’s likely he won’t be declining anytime soon. The emergence of Michael Del Zotto – Luke Schenn pair and proper usage should allow Streit to see offensive minutes and top power play time. In a perfect world, MDZ-Schenn will take some of the tougher minutes off Streit’s hands allowing him to see easier minutes.
In looking at expectations for Streit next season; it’s very likely and expected to see his point total fall. That’s not because of decline, but hopefully because he’ll be tasked with fewer minutes to earn the points, MDZ will be asked to earn the 2 year contract he just signed and should bump Streit from some minutes to keep Streit’s legs fresh for when he needs to use them.
The good news is, once Gostisbehere, Provorov and Sanheim are ready to take Streit’s minutes; his effectiveness should render him tradeable for a decent return to a team in need of a puck mover on the blue line.