By Brandon J. Koch
What a difference a couple of years make. Sabres fans all around had high hopes that Nick Baptiste and Justin Bailey would be decent, productive bottom six forwards for the Buffalo Sabres.
As of January 17th 2019, both have been traded and playing in the AHL.
Justin Bailey was just dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Taylor Leier. A simple, late night AHL trade.
What was the deal with Bailey? What went wrong?
Well, he had the speed, there’s no doubting that. I think for Jason Botterill, watching him last season and possibly back when he was with Pittsburgh, it comes down to consistency.
In today’s NHL, your bottom six has to produce if you want to be a premier contender. While we all saw flashes from Bailey, his offense was too inconsistent and couldn’t hold his own in the defensive zone.
A change of scenery is the best thing for Bailey, some players bloom late in their career.
It just wasn’t happening with the Sabres.