Pierre LeBrun mentioned during Tuesday’s “TSN Insider Trading” segment that five teams appear to be leading the way when it comes to trading for center Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Ottawa Senators.
Those teams are, the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers and the Winnipeg Jets.
Speculation continues to grow as the Ottawa Senators try to re-sign Pageau but understand the center is going to get a lot of attention from other teams as the trade deadline nears. The demand for his services may be so high, it will be difficult for Ottawa not to bite, especially when Lebrun believes the Sens could wind up with a first-round pick in return.
The trade market is not swimming with centers and because of that, a number of teams will be competing for the same player, Pageau among the most coveted. While the Senators don’t want to lose him, the opportunity to command such as high return may not come around again.
Pageau is having a breakout season, scoring his 20th goal of the year. He’s never accomplished that feat over the eight seasons he’s been with the Senators organization. Just 28, he could sign a long-term deal with a club and become a 20-goal player moving forward.
The Oilers and Flames are both in search of a top-six forward but in Edmonton, with Connor McDavid, Leon Drasaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins up the middle, Pageau is not a top-six center. As such, if the ask is a first-round pick, the Oilers are not likely to be a good fit.
Calgary has some money to spend but is rumored to have their eyes on a winger.
Winnipeg’s needs on defense are their priority but could look at Pageau as a rental. They’re a team that’s been known to rent high-end players in the past.
The Flyers have been looking for center depth for some time and only one point back of a playoff wildcard spot with some money to fit Pageau in, they could be a team to watch here.
As for the New York Islanders, they have tons of cap room and are expected to make a move sitting in a playoff spot. They may be the favorites at this point.
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