Josh Bailey and the New York Islanders have agreed on a five-year contract worth $16.5M – a $3.3M cap annual cap hit per season. The Islanders’ first-round draft pick (9th-overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry is now expected to be a member of the New York Islanders’ organization through the 2017-18 season, joining John Tavares and Travis Hamonic as the only three Islanders’ players with deals that extend them to that length of time.
The signing should establish Josh Bailey as a core member of the New York Islanders; and whether you like or not, he has earned it.
Bailey, who scored 11 goals and 8 assists through 38 games in 2013, became a key figure during the New York Islanders’ playoff-push. Over this past season’s final 13 regular-season games, in which the Isles went 8-1-4, Josh Bailey scored 6 goals and 10 points. Most notably, Josh Bailey rose to the occasion during a must win game against the Boston Bruins, scoring both Islanders’ goals in a 2-1 must-win victory.
Despite missing the season’s first 10 games, his return provided a much-needed boost to his team’s secondary scoring. The Islanders’ second-line (Bailey-Frans Nielsen-Kyle Okposo) combined for 16 goals, good for 16th in the NHL, and better than over 50% of NHL teams’ first lines.
As for his role, Josh has cemented himself as a solid two-way forward in the NHL, leading the Isles’ in +/- (+7) during the season, and finishing 6th on the team in takeaways (26).
Whether or not he ever reaches his billing as a top-10 draft pick remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. By signing Josh Bailey, the New York Islanders extended a 23-year-old with five years already under his belt just as he is hitting the prime of his career. While some may see this deal as an over-payment, the Islanders made sure to keep a proven NHL-veteran within their organization at a potentially lower-than-market value through 2017-18.
Garth Snow did another nice job by locking up his core. Josh Bailey will now do what he can to push the Islanders towards becoming a perennial playoff contender.
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