Last year New York Islanders, General Manager, Lou Lamoriello realized his team needed another impactful center. Lamoriello targeted Pageau and was undeterred by the high trade cost.
Pageau entered last season as a pending unrestricted free agent for Ottawa. The Senators were not going to bring Pageau back unless he signed a very team-friendly deal.
Lamoriello had Pageau high on his list and once he became available, he was going to get his man. The Isles gave up last year’s first and second-round picks (28th overall & 61st overall). In addition, Lamoriello signed Pageau (27 at the time) to a six-year, $30 million dollar contract.
New York Islanders did not overpay for Pageau
Most NHL insiders said Pageau was a great pickup for the Isles but they overpaid regarding the draft picks and the contract. First off, the Islanders gave up the trade market value to bring Pageau to the Island. Secondly, a $5 million annual average value for a 27-year old, two-way center is not an overpayment.
It appeared that Pageau would fit like a glove into Barry Trotz’s system. He has been better than advertised.
Pageau brings offense (should be a 15-20 goal scorer), is a two-way player, great on face-offs (Isles needed to get better), an excellent penalty killer, and an asset on the power play.
Plus Pageau is a leader, he has toughness, brings a team mentality, and has a knack for scoring big goals his whole career.
Targeting Pageau was the right and perfect move. He helps the Islanders in so many different ways and he can center any of the teams lines and be a great fit.
Even if one calculates the Isles overpaid by 15-20 percent in terms of the draft picks compensation they sent to Ottawa, there are other considerations. When a team finds a trade target that checks all the boxes of what they need, then they need to go get that player even if you have to overpay a little extra. Keep in mind the trade market is usually very limited.
Granted Pageau is not a sexy goal scorer. What he is though is a winning player that will help your organization towards their championship goals.