Without a point in 13 games, Josh Bailey has been sent down--or rather, assigned on loan--to Bridgeport this morning.
Yesterday's practice foreshadowed some change for the 21-year-old forward--he was dropped to the fourth line and split reps with center Zenon Konopka between Matt Martin and Trevor Gillies.
When asked whether he was sending a message to Bailey, interim head coach Jack Capuano responded:
"It might be."
Capuano also didn't rule out scratching Bailey for tonight's game vs. Columbus. The measure they elected to take, however, turned out to be much more extreme.
"It was the organization's decision that we thought it was best that he would go down down, work on his game and gain enough confidence as he can," Capuano said after the team's morning skate.
Capuano, who said yesterday he'd like to see Bailey "make harder plays" and "be stronger on the puck," said the team did take into consideration the possibility that the demotion would adversely affect Bailey's confidence.
Ultimately, they felt Bailey was mature and professional enough a player to handle the assignment.
"Knowing Josh like I do, I think that he'll respond well," Capuano said.
***One time to not as well: Bailey currently has 159 games of NHL experience. Once he hits the 160-game threshold, he'd require waivers. That also played a factor in the team's decision-making process.