New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is vehemently working to keep Josh Bailey out of the clutches of the Seattle Kraken, a source has told NYI Hockey Now.
Ron Francis and Seattle have been eying Bailey for his leadership for the fledgling franchise, but Lamoriello and the Islanders have been trying to steer them towards taking Jordan Eberle, according to an NHL Source close to the conversations between the two teams. Seattle is so high on Bailey that if he was to be picked that giving him an “A” or even making him captain wouldn’t be out of the question.
The New York Islanders have been working to try and protect the franchise’s longest-tenured player and another NHL source indicated that a deal may be in place involving Eberle so that Seattle does not select Bailey. Sunday’s news that Bailey had been left unprotected had come as a surprise to many considering the value he has had to the franchise over the course of his 13 years on Long Island.
Bailey has played the third most number of games in franchise history having played in 919 in orange and blue and his versatility is something that is highly valued by head coach Barry Trotz. Bailey can play the wing or up the middle if the team needed him to.
He would also be a candidate to slot up or down among the top-nine depending on the offseason moves the Islanders make.
Losing Eberle would free up his $5.5 million cap hit from the New York Islanders books. They have already cleared roughly $12.9 million in cap space over the weekend following a pair of deals that sent Nick Leddy to Detroit on Friday night and Andrew Ladd and a pair of draft picks to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday afternoon just before the roster freeze deadline.