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New York Islanders Fans Need to Finally Embrace Josh Bailey

By Brian Wagner
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders celebrates his game winning overtime goal at 54 seconds against the Anaheim Ducks at the Barclays Center on October 16, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Ducks 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders celebrates his game winning overtime goal at 54 seconds against the Anaheim Ducks at the Barclays Center on October 16, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Ducks 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Josh Bailey has been a constant punching bag for New York Islanders fans since he made the team his rookie year, but the nonsense needs to end.

New York Islanders fans need to get over their hate of Josh Bailey. He has become exactly the player that the organization hoped for when they drafted him ninth overall in 2008. It’s time to get over the unwarranted bitterness.

Ever since Josh Bailey has entered the NHL he has been a divisive figure. Sure, as a younger player he hadn’t pulled it all together, and fans harped on him for making what they deemed lazy plays or for not being a defensive stalwart. Not every player is.

Hate him for what he didn’t do eight years ago, but he has become a great player – an All-Star in fact – and has now proven that he can do it even without John Tavares.

It’s Time to Show Due Respect for Bailey

If the Islanders signed a player who over his career had scored over half a point per game, during the past four seasons has averaged 50 points, recorded 43 and 53 assists the past two seasons and is now on pace for 74 assists this season (and 15 goals) after losing what many considered the best player on the team, would you not be thrilled?

And what if they signed him to a reasonable $5 million AAV contract? And then you found out he is a well-respected leader in the locker room and is responsible for 33.33% of the Islanders’ offense this season?

The only reason you wouldn’t be thrilled is because his name is Josh Bailey, and you can’t seem to get over your hate for some reason.

Bailey has stuck it out through ten years of pathetic Islanders (mis)management, never complained and even signed a reasonable long-term deal last year as he was hitting his prime and could have cashed in.

He didn’t hold the team hostage in contract negotiations and remained loyal to the Isles.

And yet there’s still hate from fans. Why?

Save your bitterness for the player who jumped ship after stringing the team and fans along and embrace the guy who has done nothing but give his best for the franchise.

Be bitter with Mike Milbury and Garth Snow for sabotaging any chances this team had to succeed over the past 20 years.

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Bailey and Lee Thriving Without 91. Next

Embrace the guy who is now one of the finest playmakers in the NHL and will be in an Islanders jersey for at least another six seasons because he chose to be here. If you burned that 91 jersey, replace it with a 12 sweater and be proud to wear it for six more years.

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