For a very long time, Josh Bailey has been the butt of many Islander related jokes due to his inconsistency in scoring points and being a top 6 forward. This year, in a career year in terms of points, Bailey scored 38 points over 77 games played. His previous season high was 32 in the 11-12 season. Apparently, he was deserving of a very nice five year contract extension that will see him being paid $3.3 million for the next few years. Following last year’s underwhelming performance, it seemed like a pipe dream that anyone would be willing to take on the Bowmanville native, but that was before TSN’s Darren Dreger’s tweet this morning-
NHL gm's say Islanders forward Josh Bailey is a trade target. 9th overall in 2008. Under contract thru 2017-18. Would take a lot to get him.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 24, 2014
This is news because while Garth Snow has been on the record saying that he would consider trading the fifth overall pick, that pick might not be good enough to land someone that he want’s and it could take more than just a pick to land a high quality player.
However, on the flip side, the pick could be just enough to land who he has his eye on and Bailey could then be flipped for other players of need. Which brings me to the article- who could they get for Bailey?
Scenario One- Evander Kane for the 5th overall pick and Josh Bailey
I know, I know, this might sound like a broken record, but now this actually might make a bit more sense.
Should the Jets decide that they want to move on from Kane for any sort of reason (whether it be attitude, lack of production, or any other excuse/reason they can think of), trading for Kane makes a whole lot of sense for the Islanders.They’d be acquiring a young, strong, and skilled winger that they could plop down next to Tavares and Okposo and likely see immediate results, especially with an offseason of training together. The Jets then receive the fifth overall pick (which is projected to be the talented Micheal Dal Colle) and Bailey, a forward that can play both the center and wing positions and is signed for a few seasons more and can only really go up from where he is now. This also lessens the cap hit taken on by the Islanders, as Kane would be bringing with him a $6 million hit, and Bailey would be going with a $3.3 million hit, making the added money only an additional $2.7.
Again, this is all assuming that the Jets want to move on from Kane, but it sure makes a lot of sense in my opinion.
Scenario Two- James Reimer for Josh Bailey
Two players that the respective fan bases likely would not mind seeing swapped for the other.
James Reimer is an interesting situation because it appears as if he wants to start, but I’m not sure any NHL team views him as a starter, especially since the Islanders acquired Halak. Due to this, if the Islanders want to get their backup goalie since it’s been reported that Evgeni Nabokov likely will hit free agency and sign elsewhere, trading for Reimer might make sense.
Playing in Toronto, he’s been thrown to the fire of the most intense and scrutinized media market in the NHL. A change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered for Optimus Reim, and the same goes for Josh Bailey, who has had nothing but disappointment on the island. Since Reimer is a restricted free agent, the Islanders could offer him a nice contract to be the backup, and if worse came to worse, acquire compensatory picks or flip him again.
Also, with my mother’s maiden name being Reimer, I’m trying to find any excuse to get a Reimer Islanders shirt.
Scenario Three- P.K. Subban for the 5th overall pick, 2016 first round pick, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey
Again, this might be a bit insane to think that it could actually happen… but could it?
Subban and the Canadiens have danced this dance before and it’s led to holdouts and frustration on both sides. Should the Habs not want to give Subban his much deserved $7 million per year, he could very much see his way out of Montreal. And where better than with his buddy John Tavares on Long Island and Brooklyn? This would bolster an atrocious defense with Subban and Hamonic leading the charge, with some young guns to fill in the rest.
Admittedly, this likely will never happen (and truth be told, it could take more to convince Montreal to part ways with Subban) but a man can dream!
Scenario Four- James Neal for the 5th overall pick and Josh Bailey
While I don’t like the idea of sending a top five pick to a division rival, I do like the idea of bringing in Neal. How much of his production is due to being on the same team as Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby is up for debate, but being on a line with John Tavares likely wouldn’t hurt his production too much. At 6’2 , 208 pounds, he’s not a small player and would be a nice player to throw on the John Tavares line.
Again, the Islanders would also only take back about $1.7 million extra in this deal due to Bailey moving to Pittsburgh, which makes this pill a bit easier to swallow for the Islanders and allows them to go and sign someone else who can help them in free agency.
Garth Snow is Unpredictable, Though.
Yes, he is. He makes a lot of moves that no one ever saw coming (for better or worse), so I would not be surprised to see Snow target someone other than the names listed here on draft day. However, Garth is on a string of good moves so far, and I personally have trust that Snow will make the best decision possible regarding the trade of the 5th pick and Josh Bailey.