Congratulations to the kid. I view this as an evaluation move. (But if you say PR move, I won't fight you on it.) What I mean is, Josh Bailey has shown enough in camp to warrant evaluation. Unfortunately, he hurt his hand (hand? maybe. Club no like injury info. Stop ask questions.), so his evaluation time in game situations was limited.
But with center Mike Sillinger still on injured reserve, and with two other bodies on that list creating space on the 23-man roster, it doesn't hurt to have Bailey around. They've got nine games, after all, before they burn up a year of his rights.
It's worth noting, by the way, that's nine games played. Not games on the schedule. So they can bring him along slowly, sit him if they think he's tired or he needs a game in the press box or they need to dress a pugilist. That way even when he's not playing, he's learning to be an NHLer. Soaking up the proverbial locker room wisdom. (On that note, can you imagine the difference between an 19-year-old doing this on Long Island vs., say, the insanity of Toronto or Montreal?)
The Blues did this with young David Perron last year, not deciding to definitely keep him (i.e. dress him for his 10th game) in the NHL until deep into November.
Some fans will tell you the Blues strung Perron along. Others -- and veteran players, too -- will say they needed to bring him along slowly because he had some maturity and "know your place, rookie" issues.
So will Bailey still be with the Islanders in December? Again, I still doubt it. But that's just an odds-based guess based on age, need, and scouting reports. I haven't seen anything of him (thank you, untelevised preseason games), and the Isles have only seen him enough to know they want to see a little more and get a better idea.
Lucky for us, that's what the next 10 or so games are for. Anyone out there betting he'll be on the team all season long?
Frontier News ... to the Lighthouse We Go
By the way ... I've referenced this a couple times, but now I can confirm it: Blogging-wise, I'm on the move one last time. I'm setting up a new site, called "Lighthouse Hockey" (Frontier is so ... last year). It will be on SportsBlog Nation (www.sbnation.com), a network of team blogs in all sports, featuring a usability and interactive format that I like very much. If you haven't visited SBNation blogs before, you should check it out, as they probably have sites covering other teams you love. And later this week, they'll have one that covers the Islanders, too.
More to come on that front as I dodge a pile of work on my desk.