This week, the NHL released the official ballot for the 2018 All-Star Game. Several faces from the New York Islanders were missing, including that of the team’s point leader, Josh Bailey.
There should no longer be any debate; Josh Bailey is good. Even the loudest naysayers seem to have quieted as the forward has once again come out swinging in the New York Islanders 2017-2018 season. Some may even go as far as saying he’s earned an elite status.
However, the NHL doesn’t seem to agree. While the ballot is specifically tailored for selecting each all-star division captain, they clearly don’t find Josh Bailey worthy enough to be included.
Who they chose instead was John Tavares, Jordan Eberle and Jaroslav Halak. While Tavares is no surprise and Eberle himself is a worthy candidate, it seems preposterous that either Islanders goaltender finds themselves on this list while Josh Bailey remains in the “other” category.
Why Bailey Deserves Recognition
While an argument could be made for Anders Lee, Nick Leddy or even the rookie Mathew Barzal to make an appearance on this list of candidates, the absence of Josh Bailey is the most shocking.
Josh Bailey currently leads the New York Islanders in points with 5 goals and 25 assists for a total of 30 points. So far, he has outscored both of the other skaters that could represent the team in the All-Star Game.
Many anti-Bailey fans look to his secondary assists as a reason to count him out. However, in watching him since the beginning of 2016, it has become clear that he is a player beyond just dumping the puck. He has become instrumental in the New York Islanders’ top of the league offense.
More from Editorials
- Islanders key to success: Load management with goalies
- Islanders Zdeno Chara trending in the right direction
- Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Deserves Benefit of the Doubt
- Islanders Ilya Sorokin becoming number one goalie
- Islanders Zach Parise Was Quiet in Return to Minnesota
Why It’s Important
Bailey has not only been outscoring his own teammates but other players that can be found on this year’s All-Star ballot. The Islanders forward tops all three Rangers skaters, Kevin Shattenkirk, Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash, who has a staggering 17 fewer points than Bailey.
Number 12 also finds himself above of several other All-Star regulars from the Metropolitan Division, including returning Stanley Cup champions, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. No one is saying that Josh Bailey is better than Sidney Crosby but he certainly deserves just as much of a chance to be an all-star.
While the game seems frivolous, including more Islanders in this year’s tournament would be a step towards the acknowledgment that this team has earned so far this season. Maintaining one of the top offenses in the league and consistently beating impressive forces like the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning should be reason enough to consider the New York Islanders as worthy competition.
In years past, it’s been a tradition that John Tavares be the lone player representing the Islanders in the All-Star Game but no longer. This year would be the perfect opportunity for Josh Bailey’s new elite status to be cemented and for the team to have a real presence among the league’s best.