Love him or hate him, Josh Bailey has been a polarizing figure during his 15-year career with the NY Islanders. Appearing in 1,057 games with the franchise, Bailey trails Denis Potvin by just three games for second on the Isles' all-time games played list.
While Bailey has had his moments on Long Island, games played are just about the only top-10 list you'll find the two mentioned together. Much to the chagrin of many of the Islanders faithful, the artificial intelligence app ChatGPT has ranked Bailey as the tenth-best Islander of all time.
In the top-5, the names synonymous with the dynasty years, Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, and Billy Smith, are where they belong. Following Zigmund Palffy, one of the organization's greatest goal scorers who comes in at No. 9, appears Bailey's name.
The AI app adds: "Currently an active player for the Islanders, Bailey has been with the team for over a decade, contributing both offensively and defensively."
While AI can be an enormously useful tool, it's a tad difficult to believe Bailey is among the ten greatest players in the franchise's history. While it's sacrilegious to mention his name, John Tavares is much more worthy of this list, or even Brock Nelson if you want to look at current Islanders.
Though longevity has been on the side of Bailey, his 1,057 games may be his final count with the Islanders. With one-year remaining on his current contract following a season where he was a healthy scratch down the stretch of the season, including all six playoff games, it seems as if Lou Lamoriello (or whoever is in charge come October) will look to move Bailey via trade or buyout the final year of his contract to create cap space and creat room in the top-nine.
Bailey. who had just 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) last season, made it clear that he still feels he can play at a high level and won't be happy watching most games from the press box next season. He also knows that means that he'll have to do that wearing another uniform.
“I’ve always thought of myself as an Islander and wanted to play my last game as an Islander. Who knows what it holds now? It’s a lot to take in for my family and I, but it’s part of the business, and I understand that.”
Was last season Bailey's final on Long Island? Even AI can't be 100% sure just yet.