Josh Bailey rejoined the Islanders on Friday, participating in the morning skate after remaining in COVID-19 protocol and being quarantined in Florida for more than a week.
He was not in Friday night’s lineup against the Penguins at UBS Arena, but coach Barry Trotz said he hopes Bailey can play against the Rangers on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. The longest-tenured Islander has missed five games since testing positive on Nov. 16, including the first four games at the team’s new home.
"Just to see Josh back in the mix today, it feels like there’s a little light at the end of the tunnel," Zach Parise said. "I don’t know how this thing shakes out, but with not having [new] guys go down, I think that’s a good sign."
Anders Lee, Kieffer Bellows, Ross Johnston and defensemen Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara remain in COVID-19 protocol.
"I try to text the guys, see how they’re feeling every day, talk to one or two of them," Trotz said. "We’ve got a mixed bag. Some guys got hit with it hard. Some guys, really not a lot of symptoms but they can’t get the negative tests. Hopefully in the next couple of days, we’ll get a few more out. I don’t know if they’ll be prepared to skate or not because they’ve all had different degrees of it."
Carter joins MSG
Analyst Anson Carter has rejoined MSG Networks and will work select Islanders pre- and postgame broadcasts, making his debut on Friday night. Carter spent 10 seasons in the NHL and scored 19 goals and 19 assists in 27 games in 1996-97 for the AHL’s Portland Pirates, coached by Trotz. Carter worked for MSG Networks last season on Rangers telecasts. Analyst A.J. Mleczko also will continue to work select Islanders broadcasts.