In the aftermath of John Tavares leaving the Islanders to join the Maple Leafs, New York Islanders fans just want to feel like players want to be here.
We’ve already seen Ryan Pulock show his love for the team by tweeting out a picture of his as a child wearing an Islanders jersey. But before Tavares left the Isles, while he was still falsely pledging his loyalty to the Islanders, Josh Bailey actually pledged himself to the Isles.
Josh Bailey has spent his entire NHL career with the Isles after being drafted ninth overall in 2008. After two back-to-back career years in 2016-17 with 56 points and then a 72 point season in 2017-18, Bailey signed a six year 30 million extension.
The $5 million cap hit is far below what his 72 point season could have garnered him on the open market as an unrestricted free agent. But Bailey decided to stay with the team that continued to show faith in his abilities after years of 30 point seasons.
He’s just not a vocal guy. He isn’t the guy to get the team riled up or energized. To be fair, nor was Tavares. But it’s not like Bailey is a “lead-by-example” type either. Bailey is rarely dominant on the ice and rarely wills the team to victory on his own merit.
Sure he put up 71 points and sure he like being on Long Island, but is that captain mater in-and-of-itself? No.