Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 7/11/13


March 14, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; New York Islanders center Josh Bailey (12) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Tampa Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey filed for salary arbitration yesterday, stirring the Long Island fan base into a frenzy after what had been a sleepy day in NHL offseason news.

While the filing doesn’t necessarily mean Bailey and the Isles will reach an arbitration hearing, it’s an indication that both sides are once again far apart in terms of assessing the winger’s monetary value.

This is the second time Bailey and the team haven’t agreed on his worth to the franchise. Back in 2011, he filed for arbitration but ended up signing his most recent deal—at the eleventh hour—with an average yearly salary of $1.05 million.

Based on his NHL statistics—which are the only stats admissible should an arbitration hearing actually occur—it would appear that Bailey isn’t worth the $2+ million he’s reportedly seeking from the Isles. More likely is a one- or two-year deal worth $1.5 million per season.

Bailey put up 19 points (11G, 8A) in 38 games played during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, a marginal improvement over his numbers during the 2011-12 campaign: 13 goals and 19 assists (32 PTS) in 80 games.

For the Islanders fans calling for Bailey’s head: there’s no need to demonize the 23-year-old former first-round draft pick. Bailey is simply trying to get as much money as possible; if any of us were in his position and felt we deserved a raise at our jobs, we’d likely do the exact same thing.

Bailey’s move for arbitration is his way of asking for a salary increase, not an indication of his dissatisfaction with the organization. (He’s not Nino Niederreiter; let’s remember that.)

Isles GM Garth Snow will come up with a solution, as he often does.

For now, let’s focus on the prospect mini-camp taking place at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With the blue and orange scrimmage tonight at 7:00 p.m., Isles fans can get a glimpse of the future of the franchise.

Will you be watching?

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

In which Andy Graziano discusses Bailey’s arbitration filing in depth (EOI)

Chris Triantafilis talks about the Islanders’ blueprint (Isles Optimism)

Time for Anders Lee to Show Islanders What He Can Do (Newsday)

Zeitgeist – Cappy Exit Interviews IX: #24 Brad Boyes, #36 Eric Boulton (Lighthouse Hockey)

Nabokov in Goal For Islanders is Not a Workable Solution (WFAN)

Bruins, Tuukka Rask Strike Long-Term Deal (

Washington Capitals Re-Sign Karl Alzner (The Hockey Writers)

Two Minutes For Tweeting

This picture says it all: during the Chicago Blackhawks postseason run, the team roped off the logo on the locker room floor, ensuring no media members would trample on the sacred piece of carpet. Apparently, no such precautions were taken when Justin Bieber was allowed into the room to take pictures with the Stanley Cup, which led to the most pointless debate of the entire offseason yesterday—how much of a clown is Bieber: this much of a clown? Or THIS MUCH OF A CLOWN?

For those of us not lucky enough to be at the Coliseum during the Islanders’ prospect mini-camp, here’s a quick video showcasing this year’s first-round Draft pick Ryan Pulock, with quotes from head coach Jack Capuano and last year’s first-rounder Griffin Reinhart.

It’s not so much “an opinion” as it is “an undisputed fact” that anyone wearing a Matt Martin no. 17 jersey automatically feels tougher. Maybe it’s something in the fabric of the nameplate?

With all the talk surrounding the Islanders’ jerseys once the team makes the move to Brooklyn, this is one of the better alternate jersey design concepts I’ve come across on the interwebs. It would be an upgrade over the current third jersey—that oh-so-subtle rip off of the New York Mets’ black uniform—and keeps the Islanders’ maritime theme alive. (Thoughts? Leave them in the comments section.)

Even if you didn’t need the reminder, it’s never a bad thing to look back and note that a) the Islanders started the tradition of “playoff beards,” and b) they won four consecutive Stanley Cups. There’s your mini history lesson for the day.

Even during the offseason, the Isles community on the Twitter machine has been fantastic. The EYES staff echoes what Kevin says here; without the type of interaction between fans during the summer, the offseason would be unbearable.

As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.