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Islanders & NHL News: Pageau, Wahlstrom still here

It was probably a never-happening-anyway, but the forever debate now rests on whether the Islanders’ effort made sense.

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Anaheim Ducks v New York Islanders
Hey young fella, you’re still here (for now).
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

A couple of codas to the Alex DeBrincat-to-the-Red Wings saga, one affecting the Islanders, one tangentially so:

Pageau, Wahlstrom Were in Play

This was hinted a few times but mostly in tweets and podcast, so now Andrew Gross of Newsday has the most assertive report that indeed J-G Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom were in play for the Islanders’ pursuit of the diminutive sniper, but the Senators — who accepted a pretty soft package from the Wings — were unimpressed. One wonders if that reflected cap concerns (they took little money back from Detroit), or if it was another reflection of DeBrincat directing things to the Wings all along.

DeBrincat to the Senators: I was never that into you

The other item doesn’t directly relate to the Isles but could hint at context: In speaking to reporters for the first time since the trade, DeBrincat said he never had any intention of signing long term with the Senators. Given that stance and him kind of pulling a Tkachuk to direct his destination while a pending RFA, you wonder if that applied to other destinations, too — and if there was ever any chance of him swallowing the Lou pill that the Islanders GM gave to Bo Horvat.

Given all the Above, Did This Pursuit Make Sense?

On that note, and with that context, Kevin Kurz wrote that pursuing DeBrincat at the expense of Pageau didn’t make much sense. (I confess I was never much into the idea because of these concerns.) [Athletic]

  • Don’t blame Lou for not getting it done though. [THN]
  • Essentially, the Senators made a similar bet a year ago, and were praised for it, but it ultimately backfired: DeBrincat didn’t maintain the numbers he had next to Patrick Kane (neither has Dominik Kubalik, incidentally), the Senators did not make the playoffs, they could not get him signed, and they ended up trading him as a slightly depressed asset due to his leverage. You win some, you lose some — sometimes the same guy. (Sometimes he’s called Thomas Vanek.) [Sportsnet]
  • Filip Zadina, terminated by mutual consent in Detroit, has landed in San Jose. This argues that he could’ve been a fit for the Isles but I firmly disagree. That’s not a guy who was going to last with paltry minutes under Lou or Lane. [THN]


  • The Leafs and offense-first John Klingberg are in for a wild ride. [Sportsnet]
  • Offseason Recap: The Coyotes seek to reach the cap floor boost offense with Kerfoot, Zucker. Okay, sure. [NHL]
  • Offseason Recap: The Sabres sought to add beef to their blueline with Johnson, Clifton. [NHL]
  • Tim Tebow...ECHL expansion team...Tahoe. This is not a drill. [NHL]
  • The forever headline: “Tarasenko, Dumba among remaining UFAs.” Good luck, guys. [NHL]
  • Elliotte Friedman does one of his check-ins from the cottage after a long night: Is Erik Karlsson destined for Pittsburgh or Carolina, whoever blinks first?