The New York Islanders have agreed to terms with Winger Josh Bailey on a 5 year contract extension worth $16.5M ($3.3M AAV). Extending Bailey keeps a key piece that the Islanders believe can help them make the next step in being a perennial play-off contender.
Bailey's come full circle in terms of his place on the roster, especially when you consider that most who follow the team wanted this guy gone just two seasons ago after a 28 point season that saw Bailey sent down to Bridgeport to help get himself back together. In the subsequent two seasons Bailey's become a good two way Winger, producing point totals of 32 (in the full 2011-2012 season) and 19 (but lets say 38 if there was no lockout) this past year.
Bailey's deal gives the Islanders a good middle 6 option on the Wing who will work hard at both ends of the ice, if the higher end top 6 prospects emerge (your Nelsons, Stromes and Anders Lees) to build a second line, the Bailey/Okposo/Neilsen line becomes a formidable checking line in addition to Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck going forward.
With the new contract will come new expectations from fans. If Bailey can continue his solid two-way play over the last two seasons, then it will be a contract well worth it. It's still nice to be able to know that the Islanders are no longer relying on paper moves as they continue to spend wisely on their guys.