11:20 pm – While the Islanders are saying they are planning for an announcement on Saturday, the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League had one of their own today. Josh Bailey is not returning to his junior club, the Spitfires announced during their game on Friday night.
Bailey called his Windsor coach, Bob Boughner, before the OHL game on Friday to break the news. Said Boughner, the former NHL defenseman: “It’s not the phone call you want to get.”
The news is not a stunner, especially after the 19-year old center played more than 19 minutes in today’s loss in Boston.
Said Boughner, “We’re happy for Josh because we’re trying to send guys to the next level, but this leaves a big hole for us.” The Spitfires are 23-3-0.
When Jim Parker of the Windsor Star called the Islanders for verification of the story, the Islanders said they had no plans for an announcement on Friday. Read Parker’s story here.
The Islanders host Ottawa on Saturday night. The game will be Bailey’s 10th of the season, and the first year of his three-year entry-level contract will kick in.