Thursday, September 15, 2011
Deadline looming for Josh Bailey
By Katie Strang
The Islanders announced the contract extension for 20-year-old John Tavares, but they still have one order of business to complete.
Another member of the team's young core, Josh Bailey, remains unsigned.
Earlier this summer Bailey opted not to sign his qualifying offer and the two sides have yet to settle on a new deal.
Per Islanders team policy, Bailey must sign before training camp -- no holdout -- or he forfeits the entire season while the team retains his rights.
Isles GM Garth Snow told ESPNNewYork.com this morning that the deadline for Bailey to sign a deal is 7 a.m. Friday, when players report for physicals.
As of late Thursday morning, Bailey had nothing new to report on contract discussions.
"No. Not yet, anyway," he said after the Islanders' informal skate in Syosset, N.Y. "Not much time left time now, so hopefully I'll have some news for you in the near future."
Is this process dragging on longer than he'd like?
"No question. What player wants to come down to the final day?" he asked. "I don't think either side wanted it to come down to the final day. In a perfect world things get done right [away] but it doesn't always work that way.
"There's not much time left, so hopefully things get resolved."
When asked whether he was as confident now as he was last week -- when he expressed optimism the deal would be resolved quickly -- Bailey said:
"Probably not as confident just because it's taken so long. I thought it would have been figured out by now. But I still am confident; don't get me wrong. It's not like we've taken steps backwards or anything like that."