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Islanders & Josh Bailey Avoid Arbitration, Agree to Terms on 5-Year Contract (with updates)

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The Islanders still see the potential in the 23-year-old forward and go long on a new contract.

Beat Rask and you shall receive...a five-year contract.
Beat Rask and you shall receive...a five-year contract.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders and center winger Josh Bailey have agreed to terms on a new 5-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Brett Cyrgalis has the salary info:

The $3.3 million price tag puts Bailey ahead of Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner, as well as his two linemates. Go get your cliques in order.

Bailey, along with 20-or-so of his restricted free agent colleagues in the NHLPA, filed for salary arbitration last week. But the word on the street even before the filing was that the Islanders and their 2008 first-round pick had been working on a new deal.

Although his time on the Islanders has seen more stops and starts than the Babylon Branch of the Long Island Railroad, Bailey seemed to have great chemistry last season on a line with Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo. Once returning from injury a few weeks into the schedule, Bailey seemed to fully embrace the winger role, as opposed to the center position he had been drafted at.

We've hashed over his development, his game, his "Flashes of Bailey™" and his youthful appearance many, many times around here, but it's still notable that he's just completed his fifth NHL campaign (or fourth-and-a-half) and won't turn 24 until October.

Obviously, the Islanders feel he's a big part of their future. Clearly, his future is on the wing. And Bailey's fundamentals have usually been pretty solid.

Right now, based on his inconsistent history, it might seem like an over-payment. But you hope the financial security, the stability of a role on the team and the experience of last season make the contract a more enviable one years from now.

UPDATED WITH FURTHER READING: