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Bailey skates on Long Island

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Yet to sign the qualifying offer extended to him June 27, Josh Bailey’s participation in the Islanders informal skate on Friday exemplifies a strong desire to re-sign.

“There’s nowhere else I want to be,” Bailey said. “I obviously want to be an Islander. I think Snowy (General Manager Garth Snow) and I have always had a good relationship. I’m quite confident we’ll get something resolved and worked out. I’m ready to go for the start of the season.”

Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders keeps the puck away from Brooks Laich #21 of the Washington Capitals on January 20, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Capitals defeated the Islanders 2-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
After all, this is where he’s grown over the last three seasons, beginning his pro career with the Islanders a few months after he was drafted ninth overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

After adding more than 15 pounds of muscle last offseason, Bailey suffered a disappointing hip flexor injury Oct. 18 against Toronto and struggled to regain his step. He was sent down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for 11 games after returning from injury. There, Bailey gained some newfound confidence as he consistently found the back of the net, posting six goals and 11 assists for 17 points.

Unfortunately, his streakiness continued, which is something the now 21-year-old addressed in the offseason.

“I want to be more consistent,” Bailey said. “I think there were some things I was happy with and definitely some things I want to improve on. I’ve changed my training this offseason and came in with a different mindset. I’ve gotten quicker and lost a little bit of weight, trimmed down to be leaner, but more muscular.”

With all of his off season adjustment and preparation, his contract is the last detail to be worked out.

“This is home for me,” Bailey said of Long Island and the Islanders. “Since I was drafted, this organization has given me a lot. I just want to keep trying to give back to this organization and win here. All these guys are my best buddies and this is home. I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else and I don’t imagine that.”
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