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Bailey wants to get deal done with Isles

New York Islanders center Josh Bailey (12) celebrates

New York Islanders center Josh Bailey (12) celebrates after his first period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during an NHL hockey game. (March 22, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

With only one week until the start of training camp, Josh Bailey remains unsigned but the 21-year-old center said Friday he's confident a new deal with the Islanders will be done soon.

"No question," Bailey said. "I don't even consider the other side of things. My focus is here. I'm an Islander and that's the way I want it to stay."

General manager Garth Snow declined to discuss contract negotiations.

Bailey's agent, Pat Morris, told Newsday recently that "both sides were working hard to get the contract concluded."

Bailey said the contract discussions have not turned contentious.

"Me and Snowy have always had a great relationship and I've always only had the intentions of playing here," Bailey said. "This is home, this is where I want to be, so I have faith that [Morris] and Garth can find common ground."

Bailey also emphatically ruled out the possibility of a holdout.

"Not something either side has thought of," Bailey said. "In no way does that help myself or the team. I don't think either side wants that to happen."

The restricted free agent said he's aware of the team's policy: Any player who is not signed by the first day of training camp forfeits that entire season, which was the precedent set with Sean Bergenheim in 2006.

"I've known about that before this summer," Bailey said. "I knew when it happened with Bergie. I've been aware of it and Garth knows that."

Bailey, who recently completed a five-day elevation training stint in Colorado, skated for the first time with the team Friday.

The former first-round pick is coming off a difficult third NHL season. After a 13-game point-less streak, Bailey was sent to the minors for a month to re-establish his game.

Bailey does not have much leverage -- he opted not to sign his qualifying offer earlier this summer -- but he is still seen as a valuable piece of the team's young core.

"As a player you want things to get resolved, to get worked out and to get the monkey off your back almost," Bailey said. "I think both sides want to get something figured out."


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