Less than one week away from the NHL Draft, NY Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello, and his staff will look to move Josh Bailey and his $5M cap hit before the start of the draft. The Isles will likely have to attach a draft pick with Bailey to any team willing to take on his salary.
In his recent press conference, Lamoriello praises Bailey but mentions that it may be time for both parties to move in different directions.
"Loyalty will never get in the way of impeding progress or making whatever decisions I have a responsibility to make. Never," Lamoriello said. "In Josh's case, it looks like, maybe it's near the end here. In our situation, Josh and I have, I think a man-to-man relationship as far as honesty, and we will work with him to help him, but my priority is doing what's best for the team."
According to Cap Friendly, Bailey, whose cap hit is $5M, is only owed $3.5M for the final year of his contract, which may make GMs across the league more willing to take on the long-time Islander.
One team considered a potential trade partner for the Isles is the Arizona Coyotes - who have not been shy about taking on poor contracts in exchange for draft capital in the past. With only 12 signed players on their roster as of now, the Yotes need bodies and salary to reach the cap floor.
According to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, a source of his has revealed that there is no truth to reports that the Coyotes have interest in Bailey.
While this could be the case, the person opposite the negotiating table from Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong has to be considered. It is widely known that Lamoriello likes to keep things tight to the vest, and any indication of a leak could force him to pull an offer from the table in the final moments.
With just under $5.5M in available cap space come July 1, the Isles could nearly double their allotted amount in free agency by moving their longest-tenured player. If Arizona isn’t willing to play ball with the Islanders, Lamoriello will need to search elsewhere quickly, with the Chicago Blackhawks being another potential partner.