NY Islanders Daily Dose: Ooh Ahh - Bailey writes a goodbye note; George inks ELC

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Two
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Two / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Good Morning, Islanders Country.

Josh Bailey penned a goodbye to Islanders fans in The Player’s Tribune on Wednesday, providing closure for a player who started his Islanders journey as a 19-year-old kid and ended it as a 33-year-old man. We watched Bailey grow up as many of us did ourselves throughout 15 sometimes tumultuous seasons, sometimes thrilling seasons. In the letter entitled “To Long Island,” Bailey recounts humorous times during his career when he was the center of fan’s attention, but not necessarily in a good way.

Some nights, if I was starting, the national anthem could be a vulnerable 90 seconds standing there at the blue line. (I heard it all — the encouragement and the “encouragement.”)
Josh Bailey

It was a complicated relationship, but even if he didn’t win over everyone on the ice, no one could dispute that Bailey represented the organization and community in a way that made those who root for this team and live on Long Island proud.

He signed off “until next time,” and you know there will be one.

Whether he’s back for an alumni weekend or honored in a more significant way, he will be serenaded again by the Isles Faithful.

Coming up, Isaiah George inks his ELC, Hudson Fasching still has something to prove and the candidates to fill Zach Parise’s void. Plus, devastating Isles injuries, DiPietro’s landmark deal, and the Islanders’ ice has been painted.

Let’s dive in.

NEXT UP: On The Fly


The Islanders announced the signing of 2022 fourth-round pick defenseman Isaiah George to a three-year entry-level contract. The 19-year-old scored 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 54 games with the OHL’s London Knights last season, leading the team with a +23 rating.  

Selected with the pick the Islanders acquired along with Alexander Romanov from the Montreal Canadiens, George was touted by many as a second-round pick but dropped to the Islanders at 98 at last year's NHL Draft. Without many high draft picks in the last four years, George has become one of the Islanders' more exciting prospects, but it remains to be seen if that says more about George or the state of the Islanders prospect pool.

◾️ In The Hockey News, Stefen Rosner caught up with Hudson Fasching, last year’s feel-good story, who is aiming to prove he belongs this season. The 28-year-old may have been a depth signing last August, but he turned into

"They definitely saw me as somebody who was a veteran who could manage call-ups pretty well, going up and down my whole career," said Fasching to Rosner back in April. "I was somebody they could plug into the lineup right away, and so for me, it was just kind of about showing them what other parts of my game I had to offer in Bridgeport."

Fasching’s forechecking, energy, and timely scoring (10 goals) led to him having a role on the third line during the post-season and earned him a two-year, one-way contract that was announced on May 1st. "It was really gratifying, for sure," Fasching told The Hockey News on Tuesday. "It's something that I worked a long time for. I put my family through a lot to continue to play this game, and I'm just grateful that they've been able to just support me through it. 

◾️ For The Athletic, Kevin Kurz takes a look at candidates to replace Zach Parise on the roster after learning that the 39-year-old, while not retiring, won’t be at Islanders training camp.

“I wouldn’t say surprised,” captain Anders Lee said at the NHL play tour in Las Vegas. “I think for him, he’s working through everything. It’s tough on your family, being away from them for a season. It’s not easy. He’s got kids in school and starting to play sports and all that stuff.”

As for who can step up and fill the role, Kurz says former Rangers and Senators forward Julien Gauthier is the most likely candidate. Meanwhile, Karson Kuhlman is a responsible depth forward with plenty of experience. Kurz also mentions William Dufour and Ruslan Iskhakov as breakthrough candidates.

NEXT UP: Overtime


◾️ In the aftermath of Aaron Rodgers' shocking season-ending Achilles injury, we listed out five of the most devastating injuries in Islanders’ history. While none of them were accompanied by the anticipation that preceded Rodgers’ first game as a member of the New York Jets, each was painful in their own unique way.

Whether it was losing Lee for a playoff run, Turgeon to a cheap shot, or DiPietro’s career starting to unravel, these injuries are engrained in the minds and hearts of the fans who watched them happen.

📚 SOUND SMART: Rick DiPietro is the only Islanders goaltender to appear in over 60 games in three consecutive seasons. Starting in 2006-07, DP played in 63, 62 and 63 games. He cut his 2007-08 season short to undergo hip surgery and only plated in 50 more games for the Islanders across the next five seasons.

🎥 ISLES REWIND: On September 12, 2006, the Islanders signed G Rick DiPietro to a landmark 15-year contract. The mega-deal was supposed to pay the brash and confident netminder $4.5 million each season until 2021, totaling $67.5M. But after a long string of injuries and bad luck derailed his career, the team bought out DiPietro's contract on July 3, 2013, resulting in the team paying the 2008 NHL All-Star $1.5M annually through the 2028-29 season.



🎧 Skates At The Stakes: Episode 116: State Of The Lou-nion 23-24

🔗 Islanders Have a Few Options to Fill First Line Wing by Nick Rizzo, The Hockey Writers New York completed the blockbuster trade of the 2022-23 season by acquiring Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 30 and then extending him to an eight-year deal a week later. Horvat is expected to center the first line, moving star forward Mathew Barzal to the right wing and leaving an open spot on the left wing. Since there were no major acquisitions this offseason, the Islanders have a few internal options that can fill that void.”

🔗 Former NY Islanders earn spots on 'Historic 100' list of Boston Bruins players, Eyes on Isles “Of the 100 Bruins that make up the "Historic 100," there are four former Islanders, including Johnny Boychuk, NHL iron man Zdeno Chara, Denis Seidenberg, and Ed Westfall. Also on the list is former Islanders head coach and general manager Mike Milbury. Tim Thomas, who GM Garth Snow acquired to help reach the salary cap floor in 2013, but never played on Long Island, is also on there.”

And we leave you with this…a mesmerizing timelapse of the Islanders logo being painted on the UBS Arena ice. We’re getting closer!