With alternate captain Kimmo Timonen out indefinitely due to blood clots in his lung this offseason, there is a major void in the Flyers’ defense.
It’s a void that raw, youthful talent like Shayne Gostisbehere and Sam Morin can’t fill, nor can new acquisition Michael Del Zotto, a young veteran, fill for Philadelphia.
It’s not on the ice that the Flyers will miss Timonen the most — it’s in the locker room.
“Well I certainly try to,” Flyers 36-yard-old defenseman Mark Streit said of being a leader this season. “I’m one of the older guys, I’ve been around, I’ve been in this position before and I love taking responsibility on and off the ice so there is a lot of leadership in this room and with Kimmo not here at the moment everybody needs to step up and do a little bit more on and off the ice.”
Streit improved as the season progressed last year in his first season in orange and black. He netted 44 points last year and was an Olympian for the Swiss in Sochi this past winter. And now, he will be relied on to be a quarterback on the Flyers’ power play unit.
“Kimmo has a good wristshot for deflections from Hartnell and Simmonds [when they] were here,” Flyers head coach Craig Berube said. “Streiter is more of a… heshoots a lot of slap shots harder, pounds them in there. Streiter has been on the power play for a long time, going back to his Montreal days, and wherever he’s gone the power play has been good.”
So is Streit a candidate to wear an ‘A’ on his sweater when the 2014-15 season begins?
“Yeah he could,” the coach said. “We’ll see when the season starts with that stuff. He’s been a leader before on a team, like I said he’s been a captain.”