According to a published report in Newsday, the New York Islanders will be without defenseman Mark Streit for six months.
Streit suffered a torn labrum and rotator cuff during Saturday morning’s scrimmage at the Nassau Coliseum when he was hit gently by teammate Matt Moulson. Despite the easy hit, Streit hit the boards in an awkward fashion. The 32-year-old Swiss native will require surgery on his injured shoulder and the Islanders will be without their top defenseman for nearly the entire 2010-11 season. Six months would put Streit’s return at late March or early April.
The loss of Streit will clearly hurt the Islanders.
“He’s a top guy for us,” Isles’ Head Coach Scott Gordon told reporters Saturday. “Any team that loses one of their top defensemen is going to have a hole in their lineup.”
Streit appeared in all 82 games for the Islanders last season and finished with 11 goals and a team best 38 assists. He was the quarterback of the Isles’ power play and scored nine goals and 22 points with the man advantage. Streit also led the Isles in ice time with 25:41 per game, was second on the club in blocked shots and third in shots on goal.
Defense is the one area on their roster that the Islanders have the most depth. Even without Streit, the Isles have seven other defensemen with one-way contracts on their training camp roster and several highly rated prospects. They added three free agent blue liners this off-season in Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and James Wisniewski.
The injury to Streit will mean other players will have the opportunity to see more ice time, especially on the power play. One player who may see more ice time is Jack Hillen, who often quarterbacked the second unit for the Isles last season. Streit’s absence may also create an opportunity for highly rated prospects Calvin de Haan and/or Travis Hamonic. One of them may now make the Isles as opposed to starting the season in Bridgeport.