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New York Islanders How to Address the Josh Bailey Situation

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Josh Bailey
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Josh Bailey
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The New York Islanders brass had to wonder what kind of year Josh Bailey would have after posting his best campaign in 2016-17. Bailey has not disappointed. However, it has created a situation for the Isles in terms of moving forward.

When the New York Islanders drafted Josh Bailey ninth overall in the 2008 Draft there were high hopes. Bailey showed glimpses at times but failed to put it all together, that was until last year.

Bailey was one of the best players in last years training camp. Then head coach Jack Capuano rewarded him by putting him with John Tavares to start the season. In addition, Bailey saw significant time on the power-play. Bailey’s play made sure he stayed put on those units as he posted 13 goals, 56 points (career-high), along with a plus-five rating.

Josh has a chance to shatter last years stat line. Heading into the Arizona game on January 22, he has 12 goals, 53 points, with a plus-three rating. And there are still 34 games to play.

Sign Him?

The 28-year old (turns 29 next October) Ontario native is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Given his age and production over the last two seasons, Bailey is in store for a lucrative contract. The question is how lucrative?

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It’s taken a while but Bailey is now a sure-fire top-six forward. It would be in the Isles interest to sign Bailey long-term especially when one considers the youth on this team and with more kids coming.

What will Bailey’s annual average value be on his next contract? Figure it will fall between $6 and $7 million.

The Isles have the option to go eight years with Bailey and use that to lower his annual value as well as his cap number. Also, Bailey has been with the Isles and on Long Island the last ten years so that has to mean something.

When it comes to the free agency market, some teams may be wary given the Tavares effect. Remember how Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau performed after they left the Isles and playing with JT.

Trade Him?

If the Isles fall out of the playoff race sometime before the trade deadline and if Garth Snow feels Bailey’s contract price is too high should he be dealt?

The tricky part of that scenario if it were to happen is what effect would it have on Tavares contract situation? Also, keep in mind Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle are UFA’s after next season so they have to be locked up as well.

The only way the Isles could potentially trade Bailey is if it’s the picture painted above and there is a very rich offer on the table for Garth in terms of draft picks and prospects.

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A deal between the Isles and Bailey seems to make sense for both sides. How about a six-year deal for $37.5 million (cap hit of $6.25 million)? How does that sound? He’ll only be 34 at the end of the deal and less than a $3 million raise per season. For a player that could put up 90+ points.

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