NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Islanders generally don’t give up on young talent.
But that doesn’t mean at this point they won’t move a player in the right deal.
The Isles appear to have advanced beyond the rebuilding stage that has engulfed the franchise since 2008. They now seem ready to add impact pieces, and if that means dealing away young players with potential, then so be it.
According to a TSN report, they may be testing the waters on 24-year-old forward Josh Bailey.
Since being selected No. 9 overall in the 2008 draft, Bailey has taken his sweet time realizing his potential. The Islanders have been patient with Bailey, even signing him to a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension last summer despite the fact that he was coming off a 19-point lockout-shortened season in 2013.
Bailey posted a career-high 38 points in 2013-14, but was largely nonexistent while the Islanders’ season was still in doubt. Once injuries and remaining talent shortcomings ravaged the club and it became apparent that the Isles would not make their second straight trip to the playoffs, Bailey’s game started to pick up.
It’s possible that the Islanders are just gauging interest on Bailey, who has 66 goals and 111 assists in 406 career games. They have been reluctant to move young talent in the past, and in the case of forward Kyle Okposo and defenseman Calvin de Haan their patience has paid off as both have morphed into reliable NHL regulars.
General manager Garth Snow has stated on more than one occasion his desire to move the No. 5 overall pick in the upcoming draft for a player that can provide immediate impact. It’s possible Bailey could be used with that pick to sweeten any potential deal.
But don’t expect the Islanders to simply trade disappointing Bailey for the sake of trading him. Though they’d like to add more veteran faces, Bailey remains a player with potential who may just need more time to develop.
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