NY Islanders News

Josh Bailey, Islanders Agree To Five-Year Deal

By Chris Triantafilis

On Monday afternoon, the New York Islanders locked up another one of their own for the long haul.

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 NielsenKyle 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.

What do you think of the Josh Bailey signing? Sound off.