The New York Islanders have completed a trade with the Ottawa Senators for Jean-Gabriel Pageau, a center they have been linked to for much of this spring and who should address a lot of current needs.
The price is steep but also somewhat conditional: The Islanders will send their first two draft picks this summer plus a conditional third-round pick in 2022. Importantly, that first-round pick this summer is protected if it ends up as a top-three pick.
Pageau to Isles for a 1st in 2020 that shifts to a 1st in 2021 if the Isles pick in top 3 of the June Draft. No conditions on 2nd round pick in 2020. Conditional 3rd if the Isles win the Stanley Cup this year only.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 24, 2020
Pageau, 27 is a pending free agent having a career year, so there is some caution on what to expect he can bring to the Islanders. His 24 goals in 60 games with the Sens this year are a career high, powered by an uncharacteristic 17.8% shooting percentage that is unlikely to be repeated.
But his contributions are not inflated by power play time, either. Pageau is a solid two-way right-shooting center, very effective at even strength and a good penalty killer too.
Update: Reports grew throughout the morning that the Islanders are closing in on a contract extension with Pageau.
Those are ingredients that will fit right into what Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello need, particularly with key penalty killer and drink-stirrer Casey Cizikas still out for the next few weeks thanks to a skate laceration.
The Islanders have given up an important pick this summer, but Pageau addresses much of what they’ve been missing this season. And they did not have to part with any of the relatively few forward prospects they have in the pipeline.
Potential #Isles healthy lineup:— Brendan Burke (@brendanmburke) February 24, 2020
The Senators were in talks to extend Pageau, who has played his entire NHL career in Ottawa, but talks reportedly hit a wall over the weekend.
Feeling amongst league executives is Dorion got a "great" return for Pageau. Two sides had talks on the weekend and #Sens tabled a new offer Sunday but weren't able to bridge gap. As @TSNBobMcKenzie noted today Pageau wanted a five year deal in excess of $5 million per-season.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) February 24, 2020
Pageau is also seen as a beloved, solid character — which surely makes him an even better fit for the Lamoriello-Trotz regime. Here are some of his now ex-teammates describing what the Islanders are getting:
Bobby Ryan on Pageau: "He's worn every hat here, right? He's been your fourth-line guy when he first started to play and now is getting first-line minutes this year and just done everything you've ever asked of him." (h/t @NHLdotcom colleague Craig Merz) #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) February 24, 2020