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Josh Bailey back skating with Islanders

Feb 2, 2013, 2:03 PM EDT

Josh Bailey Getty Images

Good news, Islanders fans. Not only is your team tied atop the Atlantic Division but Josh Bailey is getting closer to returning.

The team shared news that Bailey joined the team during today’s practice and he worked on the fourth line. Bailey was injured while playing in Germany during the lockout and that caused the team to suspend him.

The issue for Bailey now is he’ll have a battle on his hands to get back into the lineup. Keith Aucoin has taken advantage of opportunity to lock up a spot on the third line while Marty Reasoner centers the fourth line. Having a little competition to earn a starting spot is never usually a bad thing.

Bailey had 13 goals and 32 points last season for the Isles in 80 games.

  1. jhuck92 - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Are the Islanders actually… good this year? And is DiPietro staying healthy for once??

    • bcisleman - Feb 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      #1 Yes #2 RDP usually starts out healthy. Question is how long he’ll STAY healthy.

  2. islesjb - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    he doesn’t have to fight Aucoin or Reasoner for a spot as 3rd or 4th line center. They moved him to wing last year and he was much more productive. He’ll most likely come in on the 3rd line in place of Colin McDonald.

    • bcisleman - Feb 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      He may not be available tomorrow. Joe said he’s “closer” to returning. With Bails coming back, though, Nino’s chances at a call up go down. His agent yapping about a trade doesn’t help those chances either. As Joe mentioned, competition is good for the team overall. Nino and Bails both just need to exert themselves that much harder.

      • islesjb - Feb 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Was talking about in general and not just tomorrow…

        I don’t think Garth is going to cave into Nino’s whining and will keep him in the AHL for the season.

  3. source7769 - Feb 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    reasoner should not be keeping anyone from having a roster spot

    • bcisleman - Feb 2, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      IDK. He seems to be doing better this year.

  4. jr507 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I love the idea of a Bailey-Aucoin-Ullstrom 3rd line. how can anyone question Snow with the evolution of this lineup. Once Link and Radek get healthy we will have additional depth.

    Could this be the beginning of what we’ve been waiting for – an ascending team?

    • allthingsisles - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      radek has been healthy

  5. jr507 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    “Radek has been healthy” – no he hasn’t. he hadn’t been officially on the IR (until today) but u don’t bring back a guy to not play when he’s healthy.

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