September 16, 2011
In 2006, Sean Bergenheim(notes) discovered two things about New York Islanders owner Charles Wang: His policy that if a player doesn't sign before the first day of training camp, he doesn't play for the Islanders that season; and that the policy is anything but a toothless scare tactic.
According to Newsday, Bergenheim wanted a one-way contract worth $730,000 as a restricted free agent. His agent claimed the Islanders low-balled him. The stalemate continued past Wang's deadline, and that was all she wrote for Bergenheim and the NHL in 2006-07: He signed with Lokomotiv of the KHL, before moving over to Frolunda HC Goteborg in Sweden. He returned to the Islanders in 2007-08.
Islanders winger Josh Bailey(notes) stared down the Wrath of Wang this week, with a 7 a.m. Friday deadline for the restricted free agent to sign; otherwise, he wouldn't be allowed to play for the team while the Islanders still maintained his rights.
According to Katie Strang of ESPN New York, Bailey agreed late Thursday night to a 2-year, $2.1 million deal with the Islanders. The $1.05 million cap hit is actually lower than that of his entry-level deal that expired at the end of last season ($1,725,000).
Bailey regressed to 28 points in 70 games last season, which included a shocking demotion to the AHL in Nov. 2010. He was the ninth overall pick in 2008 by the Islanders … taken three spots ahead of Tyler Myers(notes) of the Buffalo Sabres, who signed a 7-year contract on Thursday as a pillar of the franchise.
Hey, you win some, you lose some, and then there are some in which you just have to swallow your pride and sign the contract before Charles Wang votes you off the Island.