Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Flyers NHL trade deadline option: Jean-Gabriel Pageau splash possible?

Flyers NHL trade deadline option: Jean-Gabriel Pageau splash possible?

Leading up to the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline, we'll look at potential targets on the market and why they may or may not fit the Flyers' plans.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Age: 27
Height: 5-10
Weight: 180
Team: Ottawa Senators
2019-20 cap hit: $3.1 million

Scouting report

There's a lot to like with Pageau, from his age to his upside. The righty-shot center has already scored a career-high 24 goals for the Senators, who are one of the NHL's bottom five clubs.

Pageau possesses some Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes characteristics in that he values the 200-foot game, impacts the penalty kill, can scale a lineup and brings offensive potential, to boot.

While Pageau is four points away from surpassing his career high of 43 set in 2015-16, he is playing his largest role yet on a team in rebuild mode.

Could that be a red flag to suitors in contention with deeper lineups? The Athletic's senior NHL columnist Pierre LeBrun provided excellent insight on the matter in a recent article, writing how that question has been raised, yet Pageau's track record and makeup also hold weight.

Projection

Ottawa will want a sizable return for Pageau and the Flyers are not in an ideal position to land his services. Without recent call-up Mark Friedman on the roster, the Flyers would have just over $2 million in cap space. The Senators are likely not going to consider retaining salary to help necessitate a deal for their big chip, so a trade would require the Flyers to clear cap space, which would require some legitimate subtraction.

Not only that, but Ottawa could also very well eye a first- or second-round pick and possibly a prospect, as well. The Senators won't — and shouldn't — be shy in their demands. After all, they could instead attempt to re-sign Pageau, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason — another caveat for the Flyers. Would they want to risk so much for a player who might walk at season's end?

Pageau should be on the Flyers' radar, but general manager Chuck Fletcher has been pleased with his team's growth, likes its chances and won't be so quick to mortgage the future during the first full year of his process.

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More on trade deadline

NHL Notes: Defenseman Brian Campbell retiring after 17 seasons

NHL Notes: Defenseman Brian Campbell retiring after 17 seasons

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Brian Campbell is retiring at age 38 after playing 17 NHL seasons and winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

Campbell announced his retirement Monday. The Blackhawks say he'll join their business operations department, assisting with community and youth hockey initiatives and marketing.

"I'm excited to transition into the next step in both my professional career and life," Campbell said in a statement. "I'm grateful to the countless number of teammates, coaches, team staff and fans that I have crossed paths with throughout my playing career in Chicago, Buffalo, Florida and San Jose. The Blackhawks organization has allowed me to take on this challenge, and I'm thankful for this new opportunity."

Campbell had 87 goals and 417 assists for 504 points in 1,082 regular-season games with the Sabres, Sharks, Blackhawks and Panthers. Buffalo drafted the Strathroy, Ontario, native in the sixth round in 1997, and Campbell appeared in four All-Star Games (see full story).

Senators: Pageau agrees to 3-year, $9.3 million deal
OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Ottawa Senators avoided arbitration with restricted free agent forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Monday by agreeing to terms on a $9.3 million, three-year contract.

The 24-year-old center will earn $2.6 million next season, $3.3 million in 2018-19 and $3.4 million in 2019-20.

Pageau had eight playoff goals last spring as the Senators reached the Eastern Conference final. He had 12 goals and 21 assists in 82 regular-season games.

"As an organization we are thrilled that we got this contract done," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said.

"Arbitration is definitely a path we did not want to go down with Jean-Gabriel, especially the way he's performed over the course of the last few seasons. He showed that he was definitely deserving of this contract.

"Any player that has a history of raising his game, whether it was in junior playoffs or (AHL) playoffs or NHL playoffs, I think you have to give credit for what he's accomplished. We're really happy to have him on board for the next three years" (see full story).

Hurricanes: Williams embraces leadership role in return
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes didn't bring back Justin Williams to be "Mr. Game 7."

Not yet, anyway.

The 35-year-old with the reputation for scoring big postseason goals has returned to Raleigh, tasked with bringing veteran leadership and a voice of experience to a young Carolina team.

But there's a fine line between filling that type of role for the Hurricanes, and commanding control of the dressing room. He brushed aside questions about whether he should wear the "C" for a team that has gone without a captain since February 2016.

"I think the worst thing you can do when you come into a new -- even though it's a team I've been on, it's a new team for me -- is trying to be someone you're not," Williams said Monday. "That's a big mistake, trying to be `the guy.' You just want to be yourself, and that's what I've done throughout my career" (see full story).