According to the latest NHL trade rumors, Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau is likely going to be traded by the trade deadline. Which teams would make the most sense for him?
For the second straight year, the Ottawa Senators have the biggest name available at the NHL trade deadline. Last year, they had Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Mark Stone. This year, the Senators have Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Though a trade isn’t certain, the latest NHL trade rumors suggest it’s quite likely.
While an extension could, in theory, be reached, it’s telling that extension talks haven’t begun yet. There will probably be some in the next few weeks, but because these talks would just be starting, it’s not likely anything will be worked out.
Should the Senators put Pageau on the market, there won’t be a shortage of suitors. Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun reports as many as over 15 teams could be interested in acquiring him. Of course, that number will probably be determined by how the next month plays out. But with so many teams close to a playoff spot, it wouldn’t be surprising if Pageau is the hottest commodity in the NHL at the deadline.
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Things can change quite quickly this time of year. A contender might lose a top center, which could force them into the Pageau sweepstakes. But right now, here are the five teams who I think make the most sense for him.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Why he makes sense for them: The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Since Jan. 1, they have a record of 9-2-0, which is the best in the league. The Blue Jackets currently occupy the first wild card spot, but the Eastern Conference playoff race is quite close. You could argue this team is better than last year’s team that went all-in.
Furthermore, the Blue Jackets could really use a center. Pierre-Luc Dubois is having a quietly strong year with 15 goals and 38 points. After that, though, the pickings are slim at best. Boone Jenner has 17 points while Alexander Wennberg has 20.
Why he doesn’t: As I said earlier, the Blue Jackets went all-in last year. Do they really want to do that again? It’s going to cost them either a first-round pick or a second-round pick and a top prospect. The Blue Jackets don’t have a 2020 second-round pick, so you can probably count them out there. And I doubt they’d want to trade another first-round pick.
Verdict: It’ll be interesting if the Blue Jackets continue to play extremely well. But I believe if they’re going to make a move at the trade deadline, it will be for someone who has some term. So unless the Blue Jackets can work something out long-term with Pageau, I don’t see it happening.