Pinch me I’m dreaming! or is Islanders forward Josh Bailey tied for third most points in the NHL? Could it be Bailey just had the slowest development cycle of all NHL players and now he’s simply amazing at hockey? Could he be the new John Tavares?
Ok I’m just kidding, but not about Bailey being tied for third in points at time of writing. That has to be as surprising as the Knights and Devils records so far.
I’ll admit when the season started I was expecting big strides from a Josh in Islanders colors, but I thought it’d be Josh Ho-Sang, not Bailey!
Bailey was drafted 9th overall in 2008, and Islanders fans had high expectations for him. But up until this point in his career I’ve never felt that Bailey’s point production justified his sloppy play and unwillingness to take the body or go to the hard areas.
Recently though Bailey has shown hustle. He’s making crisp breakouts, shooting the puck more and back-checking. JB’s feeling it right now and that confidence is translating to his game. The 28 year old recently recorded his first career hat-trick, wasted in a loss against the Blue Jackets.
Those goals exhibit what Bailey can do when he’s got his mojo. He’s toe-dragging, puck-roofing, and going to the front of the net. I didn’t think I’d live to see the day, and am happily surprised.
With the price of NHL contracts these days, here is the multi-million dollar question…does NY re-sign him? I mean, this has to be a fluke right? Or am I just a bitter Islanders fan raised in the 90s?
If NY re-signs Bailey to term with a raise, he’ll probably simmer out and never come close to this production level again, like Adam Graves after the 93-94 season.
If they let him go, Bailey will re-sign somewhere for a mint, then go on to score 100 points and lead that team to a Cup.
If the Isles try and trade him Tavares will decide not to re-sign and will follow Bailey to their new franchise…where they will both score 100 points and win the Cup.
It looks like another 8 years of Bailey, and with his mercurial gameplay who knows what’s in store?