3. Josh Bailey
Cap Hit: $5 million
Production: 21 points, 22 games
Josh Bailey is doing it again. With 21 points in 22 games, Josh Bailey is on pace to score 78 points this season. That would be his third consecutive career-high return. Two season’s ago Bailey was public enemy number one for fans, and now he leads the team in points.
More importantly, John Tavares isn’t anywhere to be found.
When Tavares left the question was if Bailey could exist without the center he’d been leaching off of for the last few seasons. Bailey is spending most of his time on a line with Brock Nelson. Brock Nelson. And he’s still nearly a point-per-game player.
Josh Bailey signed a six-year $30 million extension ($5 million AAV) in the middle of the 2017-18 season. As a point-per-game player then and looking at unrestricted free agency, Josh Bailey could have fetched way more.
But he wanted to stay with the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2008. Why go to free-agency to get max money when he could stay where he and his family are comfortable and where he was finally starting to play the kind of hockey he knew he could play.
The Islanders are getting more than they’re paying for from All-Star winger Josh Bailey.
And with this being year one of Bailey’s six-year deal, the Islanders locked themselves into a good deal with a good player for a number of years.