September brings the long awaited World Cup of Hockey where the competitive spirit of coaches, players and fans culminates not for their supported club team, but for the pride, and in respect of their country.
New York Islanders captain John Tavares is representing his home country of Canada at the World Cup of Hockey. This will be the eighth time he has donned the Canadian maple leaf, but Islanders fans are rest assured that he will only be wearing a red and white maple leaf for years to come.
What will keep the New York Islanders organization and fan base on the edge of their seats, is the not so distant memory of their captain representing Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Blue Line Station
Tavares played in four games of the tournament, but was injured in the second period of the fourth game, which ultimately ended the remainder of his NHL season as well.
But the organization and fans should not dwell on the past as the tournament could do very well for Tavares gaining momentum before the regular season begins.
The New York Islanders captain and first line center is part of a roster that includes some of the best players from around the NHL.
A roster deep with centers including names like Crosby, Toews, Thornton, Giroux, Getzlaf and Stamkos, John Tavares could very well find himself on the left wing. On the surface, this could be frustrating.
A coach would probably rather not see their star player playing in a different role than they’re used to so close to the beginning of a new season.
However, playing on the wing will make Tavares shoot often, and could ignite a goal scoring surge that follows into the regular season.
Tavares has scored over thirty goals three times in his career including his career high of 38 in the 2014-15 season.
Also, Tavares will undoubtedly be playing left wing to an elite center. There are possible benefits to this as well. Tavares himself is an elite center, and he just so happens to have a new left wing this year in Andrew Ladd.
With the opportunity to play left wing to an elite center, John could gain insight into how he wants a left wing to play, and he should translate this knowledge to build quick chemistry with Ladd.
New York Islanders brass know that one way or another, the World Cup of Hockey will prove to be advantageous for their captain John Tavares. Any time you can surround your star player with other star players from around the league, that opportunity should be considered very fortunate.
John Tavares and Team Canada lace up for their first game of the tournament facing the Czech Republic on September 17th at 8 PM EST, broadcast on ESPNEWS.