Sticking with the forwards, Josh Bailey is another name that might not be on the roster at the start of the 2022-23 NHL season. And for a totally different reason than Anthony Beauvillier's departure.
While Beau could go in a hockey trade, Bailey could depart to clear out more space on the cap.
Of course, the New York Islanders already have $13.5 million in cap space and only truly need to re-sign a few players. Noah Dobson, Kieffer Bellows, and perhaps a UFA defenseman or two. That's really it for the Islanders re-sign list. That might not cost more than, say $5-$7 million of that $13 million pot. That still leaves about $6 to $8 million.
That might sound like enough, but the Islanders need to add some serious talent and skill to the roster, limiting themselves to spending $6-8 million might hinder their ability to bring in that top talent they're looking for. They don't need another Kyle Palmieri, they need top-end elite-level talent. And that, obviously, costs a lot.
Moving Bailey and his $5 million cap hit bumps up how much they can spend considerably.
And look I understand that Josh Bailey got a bad wrap this year, but he's still an effective middle-six player. Specifically for a team that's rebuilding. Bailey put up 44 points in 74 games, a pace of 49 points over a full year. That's a good addition for a team needing veteran depth. Something the Islanders already have in abundance.
Bailey is one of the few vets signed long-term (he still has two more years left on his deal) that has no trade protection to speak of. There is no limit as to who Josh Bailey can be shopped to. I've said it before and I'll say it again here, sending Josh Bailey to Ottawa, who are looking for Bailey-esque players, makes all the sense in the world.
I'd love to see him play 1,000 games in an Islanders uniform, but there's no sense in keeping a guy around for seven games.