NY Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello makes a statement to his players by acquiring JG Pageau and Andy Greene. He has confidence in this group to make a push for the Stanley Cup.
Well Isles fans, if there was any doubt before the trade deadline, you can certainly throw those out the window. “Sleepy Lou” (as some “fans” have dubbed him on social-media) was seemingly awake this whole time, and has improved this roster in two very important areas.
First, Lamoriello sends a 2021 second-round pick and AHL defensive prospect, David Quenneville to the New Jersey Devils for their heart and soul captain, 37-year old defenseman Andy Greene.
A no-brainer move for those who understand the game, and how the Islanders have struggled since losing their top-two defender in Adam Pelech. But for some reason, received some flack from a vocal minority in the fan-base.
Greene is on an expiring $5-million AAV, which essentially makes him a pure rental. Not sure why this would be an issue for anyone considering the back-line has been leaking like a sieve since Adam Pelech ruined his achilles in a freak pre-game accident.
Andy Greene immediately plugged that gaping hole, allowing coach Barry Trotz to once again more easily manage young Noah Dobson’s minutes to a more realistic 10-12 minutes per game. Greene has always been regarded as a defensive defenseman who’s willing to give up the body to get in the way of shots and slot pressure. He’s able to eat up big minutes, and plays the Penalty Kill. I don’t know how you cannot love this guy.
Consider him – Pelech Senior. He’s a perfect fit and EXACTLY what the Islanders needed in this circumstance.
Sure, he’s not the sexy name many fans would prefer, but he’s perfect for what the Islanders needed – NOW.
I’ll save my breath regarding the fact that he’s the epitome of a “team first” guy. My opinion, you can never have too many of them.
Yesterday, Lou Lamoriello plugged yet another hole that was desperately needed, especially since the laceration injury to Casey Cizikas.
In another move that again sparked the vocal minority of the “need for a scoring winger should be priority number 1” crowd, Lamoriello sent a conditional 2020 first-round pick, 2020 second-round pick, and a conditional 2022 third-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for 2-way center, Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
Pageau was indeed, the best center on the market. For a potential rental, yes, that would have been a steep price – but good ole’ Lou put that to bed quickly by resigning Pageau to a 6-year $5-million AAV deal.
JG can immediately be put into the top-9, plays the Penalty Kill with the best of them, and fits the Islanders identity almost to the T. It allows Derick Brassard to be slotted back at wing, where he’s certainly looked way more comfortable in this system, and
has produced as such.
Imagine if you will, the Islanders center depth…
Barzal, Nelson, Pageau, Cizikas (when healthy).
Oh, it’s been a LONG time…
JG will more than likely be slotted into the 3rd-line center role where he’ll get a run with the likes of Josh Bailey, Michael Dal Colle, Leo Komarov, Derick Brassard and Anthony Beauvillier.
He’ll certainly be on the Penalty Kill and get the bulk of important face-offs with his over 53% win record within the circle.
Overall, this is a “win-now” move, and assuming Mathew Barzal gets locked up after this season, solidifies the Isles center depth for years to come. Fans should be overjoyed with this.
I can’t express how huge this is for the next 5 years for the Islanders to make consistent playoff pushes. History shows that center depth, along with solid goaltending, and defense – are arguably the 3 most important requirements for a successful championship NHL team.
Well looky-looky what we have here…
Pageau will hopefully make his debut in what could be the most important game of the season, at home versus the surging NY Rangers. But potential visa issues could prevent this. Pageau is a Canadian citizen, and needs to get his paperwork straight in order to play for an American based team. The Islanders brass are working diligently to get this worked out by the 7pm start time.
For those of you who missed it, Lou Lamoriello was on SiriusXM right after the deadline and spoke about Pageau and his dealings.
Well, sort of.
I think we all know how Lou does business by now.
Follow/trash me on Twitter – @brasqo