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Official: New York Islanders, Jean-Gabriel Pageau agree to six-year, $30 million contract

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The Islanders are now deeply committed to four regular centers.

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Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders
“Hey, Brock! Can we be friends?”
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Islanders doubled down — no, tripled, er sextupled down on their NHL trade deadline acquisition by agreeing to a six-year contract extension with Jean-Gabriel Pageau worth a reported $30 million, or $5 million per season.

That is believed to be at least a year longer than the rebuilding Senators were willing to go with their beloved homegrown native. But the Islanders are in contend-now mode, as evidenced by the trade for Pageau and other activity (adding Andy Greene, attempting to add Zach Parise?!) this month.

This will be seen by some as an overpay for the 27-year-old who is having a career year — though for perspective, it’s $250,000 less per season than the deal Frans Nielsen took to walk away four seasons ago.

But Pageau also brings so many traits the Islanders were looking for to complete their approach to a lineup: A dependable, talented, two-way center who will make them strong at center all the way through the lineup whenever Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Pageau and Casey Cizikas are healthy.

Cizikas, who is signed through next season, is currently on IR thanks to a laceration injury, and his absence combined with Derrick Brassard’s less-than-ideal fit as third-line center has helped fuel the Islanders recent struggles. Having a predictable set of dependable centers will be a dream for the defined-role-loving Barry Trotz.

So the Islanders have given up some futures this month — including their first two picks in this summer’s draft for Pagaeu — but it has long been clear they need to round up the horses to compete now. As discussed earlier when reports of an impending agreement came out, their other contracts all point to it. It will make it tighter to retain some of their key players who are approaching RFA, but this is the task for a (soon-to-be) cap-spending team that wishes to compete.

And of course, every other serious team in the Metropolitan Division is also going for it, as evidenced by the flurry of trades made by Islanders rivals today. It’s going to make for an entertaining playoff chase followed by quite the postseason. Here’s hoping the Islanders are a big part of it...

Pageau’s First Game: Tuesday vs. the Rangers, or...?

Unfortunately, although Pageau was headed to Long Island on Monday afternoon, there’s no guarantee he would be available for Tuesday’s game at the Coliseum vs. the Rangers.

That’s because as a Canadian citizen who has long been employed by a Canadian team, there is work visa paperwork to clear before he can be approved. But hey, who is the U.S. government and immigration authority to say no to Lou Lamoriello?

Despite the rivalry, there were still good tickets available for good prices via StubHub when this trade went down.

Pageau, Former Teammates React

For Pageau, who was in negotiations to extend in Ottawa, this is the culmination of a long, emotional process. But he’s ready to go — visa issues pending — for the Isles.

Pageau is also a beloved teammate:

Yeah, probably not long before Pageau becomes a fan favorite on the Island.