Stunning news out of Long Island this morning as the Islanders have sent forward Josh Bailey down to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. The team officially states that he is “on loan” to the Sound Tigers, but make no mistake about this he’s being demoted. Bailey has six points in 18 games this season but he hasn’t had a point in 13 straight games. With the team mired in a 12-game losing streak, Bailey’s scoring issues are magnified by the team’s struggles and are even emblematic of them as well.
Bailey’s hot start to the season getting points in four of the team’s first five games made it seem like he was poised for a breakout season. But like everything with the Islanders so far this year, all is not as it’s appeared. Islanders Point Blank’s Chris Botta does point out something worthy of note in this whole thing though.
If Bailey plays one more game in the NHL, he has to clear waivers before being sent down. Gutsy move by Garth Snow, who has watched Bailey go pointless in 13 games despite major icetime.
Well, if you’re going to get a guy right, sending him down to the AHL to find his game is a way to do it. Doing it before having to deal with the potential hassle of fighting with waivers is a good way to do business. The Islanders are better served for trying to get Bailey’s head back on straight and keeping him in a clubhouse where the team is in an incredible funk and he’s struggling to find the net (or help others find the net) it makes sense to get him out of that gloomy room and somewhere else to get it together.
Going away “on loan” means he will be back and he might be able to provide the spark the team needs when he returns. For the team’s sake, we’ll hope that the team will be out of their horrendous losing streak by then.