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Josh Bailey will play in his 1,000th NHL game this Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes. He becomes the 357th player to reach the milestone, and only the 35th to do so with the same franchise, joining Denis Potvin and Brian Trottier as players to have played 1,000 games with the Isles. He will also be chasing Trottier for the record of games as an Islander in the next few years (1,123 GP).
The big game was scheduled to happen against the rival New York Rangers @ UBS Arena this past Wednesday, but Bailey found himself as a healthy scratch last week against Tampa (something I admittedly have wished to see more of). Naturally, he scored a massive goal in that Ranger game to give the Isles a 2-0 lead in the third.
Josh, hailing from Bowmanville, Ontario, was drafted 9th overall in 2008, making his debut the following season with 7 goals and 18 assists in 68 games. Now a few games into his 15th NHL season, he has recorded a total of 556 points (177 G, 379 A), playing throughout several eras of the New York Islanders. Despite becoming somewhat of a whipping-boy for Isles fans (guilty as charged!), he has been a part of many big moments in recent Islander history, often finding ways to step out of the shadow when it is needed most. He has made some incredibly nifty plays to show off his stick-handling skills and situational awareness to make big plays. Regardless of his potential to do absolutely nothing, we must celebrate what he has done and what an epic feat it is to play 1,000 games in the show. We are proud to have him on the Island, and we’ll continue to sing his song in hopes of summoning some goals out of him. Congrats, Bailey, and here’s to another thousand!