Recently I began reviewing who was still available on the free agent market, specifically for the AHL, and was shocked in the process as I ran across a familiar name in former BSens’ forward Casey Bailey.
For those that are unaware, Bailey represented the Binghamton Senators in last season’s AHL All-Star affair that took place at PPL Center in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania. Bailey was the lone sole on an otherwise dreadful club on display for the Senators, with a mismatched cast of characters guided by a increasingly unpopular coaching staff behind the bench in Binghamton.
But still, it’s a feat you can’t ignore with Bailey’s nomination.
I first wrote about Bailey for S7S back in Mar of 2016 when he joined Binghamton after that massive trade for defenseman Dion Phaneuf between Toronto and Ottawa. It was there when Bailey got on an offensive tear as a right winger on the top line for Jason Akeson and Phil Varone and on the second unit for the power play before injuries took its toll, as he missed a bunch of games towards the end of last year.
The 25 year-old 6’ 3” 195 lbs. was a stand-out for Penn State University and was an undrafted pick-up by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014. A native of Anchorage, AK, Bailey is a centerman who can also play on the right wing, a position that’s desirable for the Devils and could add depth, something that any team could use.
In 2015-’16 he scored 7 while adding 14 helpers in 30 games for the BSens (4 goals, 14 assists in 38 games for the Marlies before the trade) and took on a leadership role during his transition time for the BSens.
That role followed into the 2016-’17 season as he was named one of the assistant captains and posted career highs of 21 goals and 16 assists in 62 games for his second full season at the pro level that showed offensive promise, as Bailey earned the Fan Favorite Award voted by his peers.
I’ve seen him score in bunches on numerous occasions as he’s a crafty player with good speed and while he showed agility in the corners in fighting for position. Not the best player with his hands and lacks quickness, but makes up for it around the net where he can be dangerous.
My Grades Reports for the fourth quarter for S7S found Bailey with an overall numerical grade of 88.80 from The Panel* for the season, while I ended up giving him a 87.2, both considered a B+ on the scale as the breakdown per quarter read 1st 86 / 86.66 B, 2nd 93 / 93.71 A, 3rd 86 / 89 B+, 4th 84 / 85.85 B.
The BDevils have a young team with an average age of 23.22 and very few veterans (with the exception of a pair of 29 year-old’s in Brian Gibbons and Brian Strait along side the oldest with Bracken Kearns being 36), and would immediately fit in as a soon to be 26 year-old with a potential 19 players under the age of 24 including three 19 year-old forwards in Nathan Bastian, Jesper Bratt and Brandon Gignac.
Bailey can only help in adding some experience in Binghamton on the ice and off in helping out others during the inaugural season for the BDevils.
*The Panel is a group of Binghamton hockey fans I’ll address before the season breaks in October.