Butch Goring was head coach of this franchise a little over a decade ago, what did he say on television, the first game after Bailey was recalled from Bridgeport last December, after dominating at the AHL level at center?
Bailey has to play center. How do you send someone down, have them do well, recall them, then change their position? (this criticism also extended to Comeau)
Goring was a hundred percent correct.
This blog is not interested in Bailey's contract in terms of this entry.
All this blog sees is what players do during games.
Was it mismanagement's fault to give him a spot in the NHL out of the draft? Do not believe so, however to put him at this level, continually move him around from center to wing absolutely is.
Tavares was drafted, placed at center and that was it. This should have been the plan with Bailey, because that's how he was successful in juniors.
We all remember why looking back after year one Bailey was moved around often. Rob Schremp was claimed off waivers, a lot of centers were here, Bailey was moved to wing year one after getting hurt in camp. Scott Gordon gave Schremp some games on wing, he outright said for Schremp to play here he must be a center.
Scott Gordon did his job, Schremp started producing, however that blocked Bailey from where he needed to be played, it did contribute to his on-ice struggles.
Could Rob Schremp be considered a prospect? Absolutely, however Josh Bailey was the draft pick management went all out to draft.
NYIFC had some entries on this subject 1/26/2011 Islander Notables: Bailey-Nielsen-Schremp Plan Failing along with subsequent entries even suggesting Nielsen move to the fourth line center position because he's not a five on five scorer.
Eventually we know how things played out, Bailey won out over Schremp, who went on waivers.
Bottom line, the New York Islanders bear a big responsibility for a player they drafted to play center, then did not let play his natural position nearly enough.
Bailey has stretches where he looks dominating at center. When Nielsen's contract ends after next year, when it comes closer to deciding on Strome, Cizikas, Ullstrom, Brock Nelson or others, management needs to know if Josh Bailey can be the scoring center he was in juniors before a final decision is made?
This is a very talented player where the thought of moving on from him should not even be entertained at this time, unless a franchise talent of greater potential is the return.