Islanders trade rumors: Where can Josh Bailey go for 2023-24?

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Josh Bailey Islanders
Josh Bailey (Wikimedia Commons)

It’s safe to assume, at this point, that Josh Bailey’s time with the New York Islanders is numbered even if Lou Lamoriello can’t find a trade partner for the 33-year-old veteran winger. 

After stating his intentions of not “sitting in the stands,” as he did down the stretch and in the playoffs this spring as a healthy scratch under head coach Lane Lambert, Lamoriello promised that he will “work with him. Whatever to help him.”

Entering the final year of his contract, the man who ranks third in all-time games played as an Islander has seemingly become obsolete with Lambert behind the bench. In 64 games, he recorded just 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) — the fewest games played and points recorded since the 2012-13 season when he was just 23.

For a player who carries a $5 million cap hit in 2023-24, it’s an albatross for an organization looking to free up space so that notable unrestricted free agents can be re-signed, money is available to potentially offer up a long-term extension for franchise netminder Ilya Sorokin, and exterior options on the free agent or trade market can be considered for upgrades. 

Josh Bailey Islanders
Josh Bailey (Photo courtesy of the New York Islanders)

The Islanders can get Bailey’s money off the books through a trade — and normally there would be several rebuilding teams needing to hit the cap floor that would be viable options to pair up with Lamoriello. 

But the market has been quiet. But whether that’s just Lamoriello’s M.O. or a lack of disinterest remains to be seen.

The Arizona Coyotes — a team that has made taking on burdensome contracts a norm — and their $28 million of cap space are not interested in Bailey, according to a report from PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan on Wednesday. 

Other notable potential suitors include the Chicago Blackhawks and their $37.5 million in cap space and the Anaheim Ducks and their $39 million in space. Even the San Jose Sharks, who are looking to get rid of some big veteran contracts of their own, could be an option.

It’s important to note that the Islanders would likely have to part with a draft pick to sweeten the pot for a team to take on all of Bailey’s money — which isn’t so easy considering they don’t boast a ton of draft capital. 

Recent examples, as noted by The Athletic, include the Calgary Flames connecting a 2025 first-round pick to Sean Monahan’s $6 million in a deal with the Montreal Canadiens. The Toronto Maple Leafs also gave up a first-rounder when they sent Patrick Marleau’s $6 million to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Islanders do not have a first or third-round pick at next week’s draft in Nashville.

For more on the Islanders and Josh Bailey, visit AMNY.com