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New York Islanders Need to Move On From Josh Bailey

Josh Bailey New York Islanders

The longest-tenured New York Islander Josh Bailey has been a mainstay on Long Island for the past 15 seasons. He has often been a topic of fans’ frustration because of the lack of offense he produces as well as his high average annual value (AAV). He has struggled this year to produce much of anything offensively and head coach Lane Lambert has even had to healthy scratch him multiple times this season. Bailey has always been a smart and reliable two-way hockey player that coaches can rely on. He has great vision, is an excellent passer, and is a great teammate. He has stuck around the organization through some dark times. He has remained loyal in that aspect but it’s come to a point where a divorce may be the best for both sides. He has one year left on his deal after this season with a cap hit of $5 million.

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Over the years I’m not sure there is another Islander that I can think of that has had a love/hate relationship with the fans as Bailey has. The frustration has grown even more because of his lack of offensive production. For the past four seasons, he has yet to produce a season over 43 points. His best was with former Islanders captain John Tavares back in 2017-18 when he had a career-high of 71 points.

High Character and Quality Person

Throughout the majority of Bailey’s career, he has garnered a lot of support from the coaching staff as well as his teammates. “You can’t say enough about him,” Lambert said. “And it’s just his character. It’s his personality and it’s his character. He’s a quality character individual who comes to work, no matter what (from ‘Islanders’ Josh Bailey comes up big despite diminished role, NY Post, 3/8/23).

Josh Bailey, New York Islanders (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

The same tone came from former head coach Barry Trotz who also favored Bailey and often spoke out in his defense. “With Bails, it’s all IQ,” Trotz said back in 2019. “He’s a cerebral player. He makes really intelligent reads and they’ll be some things, they’re more subtle. You’ve got to watch him closely. If you’re just looking for the wow factor, you probably don’t see that in Josh. What you do see is all the subtleties and sort of the thinking man’s player”(from ‘Barry Trotz on Josh Bailey: Lacks ‘wow’ factor but gets the job done’, Newsday, 4/12/19). There is no doubt Bailey has been a…

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