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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
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?
Filed Under:   Islanders   NHL   Josh Bailey   Snow  
August 26, 2008 5:09 PM ET | Delete
Wow, if he has been asked to move already without even playing a pre-season game, me thinks the Isles management is jumping the gun just a little soon
August 26, 2008 5:28 PM ET | Delete
New NHL...first round picks play in the NHL now like the NFL and NBA. Olympic atheletes are ready to go at 16-20, so why are hockey players treated like babies until they are 22 or older? I don't get it, and never will. "Oh goalies take longer to develop, your going to ruin him." Then I hear people say about young teams "well like the Oilers of the 80's, you have to know how to lose before you can win." Which is it...treat 1st round picks like little babies or throw them into the fire and let them learn how to lose, choke and hurt till they get some character. Plus, why would you pay a 1st round pick a million bucks to play with other non-NHLers...its like sending a kid to jail and he comes out a hardened criminal.
August 26, 2008 5:51 PM ET | Delete
I think they should let him play with the big leauge team . He knows im sure the isles are rebuilding so their is no pressure on him to pick up the team and lead it to glory , and he can learn alot from guys like weight and other vets.
August 26, 2008 6:14 PM ET | Delete
You always bring up a good point. It was actually confirmed by Bailey himself that he was asked to move to Long Island by the management. If you go to Islanders TV on the website and click on the interview with Bailey, the one right before or after Doug Weight's, he says it in there. As for my opinion, I personally feel it might be too early to bring Bailey to the NHL. As much as I would love for him to come in and shock everyone and make the roster and play well, I still feel he could use another year in the OHL, or at the very least, sign him to a pro contract and allow him to start off in the AHL and work his way on up. He still needs to put on some speed, along with a little more size, in order to even keep up with the big boys. There is also a tremendous difference in the game pace between the OHL and the NHL and that is something he needs to develop over time. I feel that Garth did a great job in drafting him, now it is the coaches job to develop him properly.
August 26, 2008 6:19 PM ET | Delete
to the guy posting about NFL and NBA players jumping in after they've been drafted... notice the ages of the players drafted in the NFL and NBA...the majority of them are 21-22, so as you put it, "coddling" NHL players until they're 22....suddenly seems to make a little more sense than throwing in 18 year old players and expecting big things huh?As far as Bailey...this is a really interesting move if Snow has asked him to find a home on Long Island. I don't see room on the roster either, especially with Nielson signing the 4 year extension. I wouldn't want Bailey playing fourth line minutes on a potential last place team, I think it would be a mistake.I'd leave him in junior for the entire year, let him play a few preseason games to give him a taste, but don't rush the kid...he's already got the draft day weight on his shoulders after Snow traded down..let's give him a chance to develop.
August 26, 2008 6:38 PM ET | Delete
It's not as if it really is a big surprise that the team asked Bailey to move to the Island. They drafted him and expect him to play if not this season, then next season. Clearly they will let him play on the expanded preseason roster, and then they'll probably make a decision as to whether or not he can really hang around in the league. If not he'll go back to juniors. If the team believes that he can keep up with the NHL then they'll find space for him on the roster. If he stays around, then he'll have a place to live when the team is at home, and if he gets sent back, then Bailey will have the hassle of getting situated out of the way for next season. Either way, it's not really big news that the team wants Bailey close.
August 27, 2008 9:10 AM ET | Delete
HMmmm really tough.I'm really looking forward to seeing josh bailey play for the islanders.Is he ready? i dont know. They got a bit of a look at him during the rookie campmaybe they saw something in him. But it also worries me a bit. Sometimes throwing a kid to the wolves like that can shake his confidence. Not to mention being sent down to the minors. Not to mention roster space. we have 4 centers. I would love to see hilbert go and he seems the most likely to get dropped. maybe theyre thinking about moving him to wing. Also a possibility they plan on moving one of they're centers at the trade deadline and plan on bringing him up mid year
August 27, 2008 1:16 PM ET | Delete
Oddly enough my wife actually goes to the same gym as Bailey's dad and they were discussing him the other day. Now my wife didn'thave a clue who he was but knew that I would know the name. I will have to ask her to look into this for us the next time she sees him at the gym!
August 27, 2008 4:31 PM ET | Delete
McReady you definitely should have your wife have a few more talks with Mr. Bailey lol maybe find out if we know sure whether or not he'll play! And thanks NYIsles16, for the compliment and for confirming Bailey being asked to move. I remember reading it in one of B.D's blogs but couldn't remember which or where he cited hearing/reading it.
August 28, 2008 1:21 AM ET | Delete
I spoke with Bailey at prospect camp, and he said he was moving to Long Island as of mid August to train with some of the players including Okposo. Also, he was spotted at a restaurant on Long Island with Frans Neilsen, so that pretty much confirms it.
August 28, 2008 9:31 AM ET | Delete
Living here doesnt mean that he has to make the team... it means that the Isles want him to be an active member of the organization ASAP, get close to his future teammates, and get to know his community. I think thats great! :)
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