|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.