The New York Islanders are trading forward Josh Bailey and a 2026 second-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for future considerations. The Islanders get out from under Bailey’s contract, which carried a $5 million cap hit for the 2023-24 season. Chicago plans to buyout the contract of Bailey before free agency begins on July 1.
The Blackhawks selected center Connor Bedard and center Oliver Moore in the first round on Wednesday night. Chicago now has two centers to round out the roster for the future. Taylor Hall was another veteran forward brought in to soak up minutes in the top-6 forward group.
Over 15 seasons with the Islanders, Bailey had 580 points in over 1,000 NHL games. Bailey played up in the top-6 for the Islanders at times but was never very productive. He finished with 25 points in 64 games this past season. Bailey will hit free agency, where he can look to sign a short-term deal playing in the bottom-6.