With the exception of Scott Gordon becoming the new head coach, Isles news has been pretty dry lately. However there has been one issue that has been on my mind lately, and that is the yet to be announced destination of 2008 first round draft pick Josh Bailey.
Word going around is that Bailey was asked by the Isles to move to Long Island. I haven't seen this published yet on the Isles web site or a newspaper, but it has been something discussed on the internet, even from some pretty solid sources.
As a passionate, and yet skeptical Islander fan, I was curious as to what the fans will make of this. Yes, we all know this is the year the Islanders will start their youth movement and Snow has backed that up with all of the multi-year deals/extensions to the likes of Tambellini, Bergenheim, Nielsen, and Gervais. But is it appropriate to let Bailey play with the Isles for what is expected to be a dismal and long season? Some may say as long as the organization doesn't put pressure on him that it may be a great choice to learn from the vets. Others may be afraid of rushing him too fast to the big show, potentially causing an early career let down and destruction of confidence, especially since the team is rebuilding and not necessarily winning.
Bailey was projected by some on draft day to be NHL ready. He ranked second in the OHL in points, only behind future (and possibly very near future) superstar Steven Stamkos. He's said to have great vision and leadership capabilities. They were demonstrated when he managed to put up between 1-2 points a game after one of his close friends and teammate passed away by raising his game to a new level.
Before we even decide whether or not we would approve of this decision, it's important to point out that there isn't even enough room for the currently signed roster. Unless the team plans on sending back Comeau or Okposo to the minors, (which I doubt), the Isles will have 13 forwards committed to next season. Many will say this is easy, let's get Hilbert out of here. But even so, if Bailey plays we're back with the same dilemma. Not only that, but Bailey is a center. Weight, Sillinger, Comrie, Nielsen...where does Bailey fit?
Whether or not Bailey is moving to Long Island, how does the possibility of this past draft's first round pick playing in the NHL strike you?