The Vancouver Canucks have signed another one of their restricted free agents, inking Justin Bailey to a new one-year, two-way contract. Bailey was eligible for salary arbitration this offseason but did not file. Thomas Drance of The Athletic reports that the deal will pay Bailey $750K at the NHL level and $225K in the AHL.
Though Drance also reports that Bailey had been holding out hope for a one-way deal, he’ll have to settle for a two-way deal in this depressed financial climate. A veteran of 65 NHL games, the 25-year-old power forward lit up the minor leagues last season, scoring 28 goals and 47 points in just 53 games for the Utica Comets. Standing 6’4″ and with a nose for the net, there’s a lot to like about Bailey’s game.
Given his relative lack of NHL experience, Bailey could qualify for Group VI unrestricted free agency after this season if he fails to play in 15 games with the Canucks. It will be interesting to see how they handle him to start the year, as Bailey could be the perfect candidate for an NHL taxi squad, given he’s already proven himself in the minor leagues.
With the deal, the Canucks have now signed all of their eligible restricted free agents and are ready for the season to begin.