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Islanders Should Target Ottawa Senators Jean-Gabriel Pageau

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 13: Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the Ottawa Senators gets the puck past Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of the New Jersey Devils in the first period at Prudential Center on November 13, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 13: Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the Ottawa Senators gets the puck past Mackenzie Blackwood #29 of the New Jersey Devils in the first period at Prudential Center on November 13, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Life is good for the Islanders these days. All this team does is keep on winning. However, they could use an upgrade and the player the Isles should target is Ottawa’s, J.G Pageau.

Everyone and his brother will be clamoring for the New York Islanders to land an offensive forward before the NHL trade deadline. While that makes sense it’s not very realistic given the marketplace.

In terms of Isles Team President and General Manager, Lou Lamoriello shopping the aisles for a goal scorer, he is going to find the shelves nearly empty. Even if Lamoriello is willing to trade big future assets, who is available for him to buy?

Most of the time the only significant players moved during the season are by teams building for the future and those teams are selling off their pending unrestricted free agents. Most years that means the list of impact players available before the trade deadline is a short one.

The cream of the expected trade deadline crop in terms of offensive forwards will be

Taylor Hall

and

Chris Kreider

. But guess what, unless Lou drastically overpays the Devils or the Rangers they are not dealing with the Islanders.

The only other option that seems to be a possibility for the Isles is with the Florida Panthers. Florida desperately needs help on the blue line (organizational strength for the Isles) and they can trade a goal scorer. Both Mike Hoffman and Evgeni Dadonov are pending UFA’s and at best Florida only re-signs one of them.

However, is Hoffman a Barry Trotz player? Is Dadonov who will be 31 in the spring, the guy Lou is targeting to improve the offense?

Pageau

The player who would fit like a glove on this Islanders squad is Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Despite his scoring prowess so far this year (19 Games, 11 Goals, 15 Points), Pageau is not an elite offensive player. Pageau is a two-way player and would fit perfectly into Trotz’s system.

Pageau would give the Isles more depth at center which is needed and allow Leo Komarov and Derick Brassard to play the wings where they are most effective. Down the middle, the Isles would then be, Mathew BarzalBrock NelsonCasey Cizikas – and Pageau. Let’s also throw in Pageau is a really good penalty killer as well.

So what would be the price for the pending 27-year old UFA? Pageau could help every team who is looking to make some noise this spring. Also, with just a $3.1 million dollar cap hit this season, the salary cap will not be an issue for almost any team (other than the Leafs) to add Pageau onto the roster.

Even though Pageau is not a high-end offensive forward, the price tag on him won’t be cheap. Ottawa is going to want major draft picks for Jean-Gabriel and while a first-round pick is unlikely, the cost will probably wind up being two second-round picks and probably a sweetener thrown in as well.

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Pageau would be a perfect fit for the blue and orange and the kind of winning player who can be a difference-maker come playoff time.

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