NHL Rumors: Hurricanes Targeting Islanders' Centre After Horvat Trade

The New York Islanders went out and made the big trade that has officially kicked off trade deadline season by acquiring Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks. It cost them Anthony Beauvillier, Autu Raty, and a first round pick, but it may also force them to move another player to create room for the future.

JG Pageau may now be the odd man out up front as Elliotte Friedman states there is no more room for him with the Islanders anymore and suggests interest from the Hurricanes. Carolina is in search of a solid centerman or top-six player and they have lots of cap space to work with due to Max Pacioretty missing the rest of the season.

The Hurricanes' centre situation isn't great for a Stanley Cup contender. Neither Kesperi Kotkaniemi or Paul Stastny have been the right fit on the second line between Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas. Adding Pageau would help out both teams.

Since his cap hit is fairly high for a middle-six centre, the Hurricanes could either take on his entire cap hit and pay very little in return, or they can get some salary retained and pay a little bit more. Either way the Hurricanes would help their centre situation with some cap space left over while the Islanders would free up some cap space for the future and not have to pay any assets so that they can sign Horvat. From what they gave up to acquire him, they must keep him around.

Pageau currently plays on the third line at five-on-five, but logs the third-most ice time amongst forwards, excluding Horvat. Pageau has a cap hit of $5 million AAV for three more seasons and he is great defensively. More of his base salary has already been paid in the first few years of his contract which is more attractive for the Hurricanes. The Islanders' centre has 10 goals and 27 points in 52 games, so he would already also bring in more offence than what the Hurricanes' current options provide.

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