Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 2/20/14


Jan 28, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Islanders center

John Tavares

(91) takes a break to watch during practice the day before the Stadium Series hockey game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

There’s breaking news out of Long Island this morning and no, it’s not good.

As reported by Newsday’s Arthur Staple, New York Islanders captain John Tavares suffered a torn MCL and a torn meniscus in yesterday’s Olympic hockey game between Canada and Latvia; he will miss the rest of Team Canada’s Olympics and the rest of the NHL season.

If there’s a silver lining for Isles fans, it’s that Tavares’s knee injury only might require surgery and he’s expected to be back on the ice in time for Islanders training camp in September.

In what’s been a nightmare season for the Isles so far, the news about Tavares is icing on the cake. Fans had high hopes for their team before the 2013-14 NHL season began, only to see injuries, poor play, failed free agent acquisitions, and lack of experience all combine to derail the Islanders’ hopes for a second consecutive postseason appearance.

The Tavares injury doesn’t reflect well on allowing NHL players to represent their respective countries at the Olympics, but it’s by no means the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has not yet committed to sending his league’s players to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and barring NHLers from Olympic competition has been a hot-button topic since hockey’s top professional league started participating in the IIHF-sanctioned tournament in 1998.

Regardless of the state of the NHL with respect to future Olympics, most pressing on Islanders fans’ minds is the six-month rehab facing their franchise’s cornerstone, Tavares. It’s been a long road this season, and it’s one that just got even longer.

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

SOURCE: John Tavares To Miss Rest Of NHL Season With Knee Injury (Newsday)

Islanders Tavares hobbles out of Sochi (with GIF of hit that caused injury) (Eyes On Isles)

Islanders News: Teammates React To Tavares Injury, Return To Practice; Seattle Expansion? (Lighthouse Hockey)

What John Tavares’s Injury Means For Canada And Islanders (The Hockey Writers)

New York Islanders Tweets Of The Week (Eyes On Isles)

Hurricane Grill And Wings Bridgeport Promotion (NY Islanders)

Across The Sound

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-24-1-4) are slowly emerging from the AHL’s Eastern Conference basement, and are currently riding an 8-2-0-0 streak in their last 10 games.

Don’t forget: the Sound Tigers are offering Matt Martin bobbleheads to the first 2,000 fans in attendance at Sunday’s 3:00 p.m. game at Webster Bank Arena against the Providence Bruins. Martin will also be on hand for a postgame autograph session.

As always, thanks for reading Eyes On Isles. Keep it right here for all your New York Islanders news, notes and analysis.