Jean-Gabriel Pageau: 'Such An Honor' To Join Islanders

Former Senators Forward Says He Was Puking Leading Up To Trade

Alec Gearty
February 24, 2020 - 6:58 pm

The NHL trade deadline could become a taxing time for those rumored to switch team in the middle of the season. Newly acquired Islander Jean-Gabriel Pageau was sick as he faced the immense uncertainty surrounding his future.  

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Pageau, one of the marquee forwards available, was traded Monday to the New York Islanders at the annual trade deadline. He'd later sign a six-year, $30 million contract extension to remain in New York. Before he was sent to the Metropolitan Division, Pageau revealed he found the pressure of the upcoming deadline to be overwhelming. 

"I was puking,” Pageau said, according to Newsday's Andrew Gross. “It was harder than I would have expected, mentally, to be thinking about so many things that could’ve happened to me. It was stressful. I’m glad it’s over now and I can focus on my goal, which is winning. Last night was really hard.”

The Islanders paid a hefty price of draft capital to acquire the center man from Ottawa. General manager Lou Lamoriello parted ways with a 2020 conditional first-round pick, a 2021 second round pick and a conditional 2022 third-round pick.

The handful of draft picks was worth the investment into the 27-year-old Canadian, who led the Senators with 40 points this season. Lamoriello praised Pageau's versatility and ability to play in "all situations."

The respect between the Islanders and Pageau is mutual. 

"I’ve heard only good things about the Islanders," Pageau told reporters. "To have the chance to be joining the team, it’s just such an honor for me. I couldn’t be more excited just to go on a team that’s going to be competing every year for a playoff or for a championship.

"I couldn't be more excited as a player, that's what we play for. That's what prides us," Pageau added. "That's why I'm excited to go and be playing for them."

Hours after the Islanders made the trade call official, Pageau was already on a plane to New York and expressed his excitement to join his new teammates. New York already deemed Pageau would become the 15th player in the organization's existence to wear No. 44 moving forward. 

Lamoriello remained relatively quiet outside of the addition of Pageau. Last week, the Islanders acquired defenseman Andy Greene from the Devils. Multiple reports suggested the Islanders were involved in discussions with the Minnesota Wild for forward Zach Parise. Negotiations never came to fruition before 3 p.m ET.