Saturday, September 20, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
|Time to step up.|
At 24, it’s still not clear what Bailey is as an NHLer. Is he going to be a productive second-liner, or is he going to continue being a streaky player who struggles to score goals and reach the 40-point barrier? Bailey had two pointless streaks of 10 games or more last season, but then he ended the season with 17 points in 22 post-Olympics games. Meanwhile, the Islanders need an upgrade on defense very badly – it’s an area that may hold them back from reaching the playoffs. And there’s likely to be a team out there that believes it can unlock Bailey’s full potential. His $3.3 million contract may be high for a 38-point scorer, but at least he’s locked up for four years – a team that believes in him will find value in that. GM Garth Snow has stood behind his core of players (sometimes stubbornly) but the defensive need is so great and the pressure so high for this team to move forward that something has to happen this year. If it’s not Bailey who moves, perhaps it’s Michael Grabner, another streaky scorer who makes $3 million against the cap and is only signed for two more years.
My Take: This rumor will not go away until he's traded. One scenario, as stated above, he does not perform as expected and he's gone. The other scenario is that he does fulfill the expectations and is still traded by many because you're getting back maximum value at this point. As the season moves along, we shall see what Islanders general manager Garth Snow will do with either Grabner or Bailey.
|Will Reinhart make the team out of camp?|
If the playoffs are a legitimate goal – and they are, in the final season at Nassau Coliseum before the team leaves for Barclays Center in Brooklyn – then the most important new cog in the wheel is goalie Jaroslav Halak, coupled with capable backup Chad Johnson. Superstar center John Tavares is still the heart of the team, and still one of the five best players in the league, but even he recently admitted this is the first time in his career the goaltending situation has been solidified going into camp.
My Take: I think The Isles should indeed be contenders for the playoffs this year and while there is a build up as to who will make the team, it's still my belief that the Isles already know who is on this team and will just go through the motions and say all the right things before the start of the season. The goaltending is fixed and should be ready to go, which will alleviate some of the pressure off of the defense. Get ready, it's almost time.