New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey has agreed to join Bundesliga side Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers on a lockout deal, according to the team website.
Bailey, 23, was the Isles’ first-round pick (ninth overall) at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and jumped immediately to the NHL. As such, he’s already a veteran of four seasons — 291 games, and he only turned 23 in October.
This season promises to be crucial the former OHL Owen Sound standout. He’s in the final year of a two-year, $2.1 million deal signed with the Isles in 2011 and will become a restricted free agent next summer.
Eventually, he’ll need to have a noteworthy offensive breakout. Bailey’s best season came in 2009-10, when he racked up 16G-19A-35PTS in 73 games — since then, his production has tailed slightly and his average ice time plateaued at 15:13 last season. (Though he did appear in a career-high 80 games.)
With Bietigheim-Bissingen, Bailey will play alongside San Jose Sharks forward T.J. Galiardi, who inked with the club in October.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.