NY Islanders could trade Pageau for Jake DeBrusk
This could be a move that makes even more sense for the blue and orange than trading for DeBrincat if they went through with it. DeBrusk, who turns 27 in October, is a skilled winger who knows how to finish, coming off of his best season yet, scoring 27 goals and 50 points in just 64 games. He also has experience playing in the Stanley Cup Final, finishing just one Bruins' win shy of hoisting Lord Stanley in 2019. New York could even fetch more from Boston in this scenario due to everything Pageau brings to the table, but mainly because the Bruins will be desperate to acquire a center at this point in the offseason, and there won't be many teams that will want to help them, especially in the Eastern Conference.
The Isles are approximately $500,000 over the salary cap ceiling of $83.5 million for next season and need to make some sort of move to be cap compliant. A Pageau for DeBrusk swap would save the Islanders money while allowing DeBrusk to try and earn more money on his next deal after his contract expires in 2024. JGP is also cost-controlled, so the Bruins don't need to worry about giving him a potential raise for another three seasons. Boston would not be getting the Islanders' scraps either, as Pageau is more than capable of shutting down an opponent's top line and winning faceoffs while providing offense on the score sheet - but nobody should expect that they are getting Patrice Bergeron 2.0.
Boston fans will be mourning the loss of the heart and soul of their team during the past two decades, and having a first-round upset loss to the Florida Panthers to show for it in his final season does not help. The Bruins' front office needs to turn the page quickly to try and salvage their slightly cracked open window, as they are in no position to fully rebuild after trading their first-round picks for the next two seasons. If they want to prioritize trying to fill the hole that the Stanley Cup Champion and future Hall of Famer left at center, Pageau could be one of the least costly options for them to do so.