Breaking: Bailey to sit as Isles shake up lines

Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As the New York Islanders hit the ice ahead of Saturday night’s game in Tampa, head coach Lane Lambert announced some lineup changes, looking to give his team a spark. 

Lambert revealed two moves ahead of the game, one on forward and one on defense. Up front, forward Josh Bailey will sit for the first time this season. Bailey, 33, has yet to record a point through four games this season. Bailey was drafted ninth overall by the Islanders back in 2008, and he currently sits at 997 games played. He was set to hit the mark next Wednesday when the Islanders host their cross-town rival New York Rangers. Three more games for Bailey would make him only the third Islander to ever hit 1,000 games with the club, joining Hockey Hall of Famers Bryan Trottier (1,123) and Denis Potvin (1,060). 

Bailey has two more years on his current contract, making $5.5 million. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) in the summer of 2024.

Nikita Soshnikov is set to dress in place of Bailey. Soshnikov, who turned 29 on Oct. 14, signed a one-year, $750K deal with the Islanders on Sept. 21. He’s played one game for New York in 2022-23 in the home opener, a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. 

In addition, defenseman Robin Salo will be scratched tonight as Sebastian Aho replaces him. Salo, 23, has two goals in four games played this season. Aho, 26, will play in his first game of the 2022-23 regular season on Saturday. No other lineup changes have been announced as of yet.

The Islanders will wrap up their back-to-back against the Florida Panthers on Sunday afternoon before returning home to host the Rangers on Wednesday.

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