I don't have to tell you this, but Josh Bailey is the most polarizing player on the New York Islanders. He's everyone's favorite whipping boy since 2008, and when he's down bad the fans love to pile on.
I feel like I'm stating the rational logic here but why can't it be "Josh Bailey wasn't good enough during his first eight years, was very good to solid for the next five years, and then has not been good enough this year."
It feels too easy to leave out the five years in the middle for some, but maybe that's a conversation for another day.
Kevin Kurz shared these numbers for Josh Bailey over his last nine games and it pretty much summarizes Josh Bailey's shortcomings in just one tweet:
Yikes. It's bad, like really bad. The two assists both came on the man advantage and he's essentially been rendered useless at 5v5. He doesn't shoot the puck enough as shown by the 41.7 shot-attempt percentage. He's definitely been a frustrating watch this year on the Islanders.
I have a few takes on him. I think he's been utilized too much. Let's say the Islanders keep him and don't trade him for these takes here (I'm not opposed to moving him either though).
First and foremost, he should be on line three with JG Pageau. Top-six Josh Bailey days are over and that's okay. Again, he gave you five steady top-six years, two of which were better than market value on his $3.3 million AAV deal. He performed to his $5 million a year cap number for three of the six years, it's not an awful contract but right now it doesn't look great.
Play him on line three for 15 minutes a night and take him off the power play. He's not a shot threat so clearly having him out there doesn't add much value. He can still kill penalties for you in a pinch and he's a fine depth player at this point in his career.
Still, those numbers tell you everything you need to know on why he's sitting right now.