Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 25
Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post provides Tavares' take on his injury and the Olympics:
Tavares on Olympics: "I think it’s important for us to play. You saw how much we love representing our countries, especially at that level."— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 25, 2014
Tavares on Snow's comments (1/2): "Certainly I know he cares a lot about the Islanders and this organization, and so do I..."— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 25, 2014
Tavares cont. (2/2): "It’s obviously a tough situation, but I certainly love playing for my country, and if I got the call again, I would.”— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 25, 2014
Stephen Lorenzo of The New York Daily News has the latest on Tavares:
Tavares says it's a partial MCL tear, says he will NOT need surgery #Isles— Stephen (@StephenCLorenzo) February 25, 2014
Arthur Stape of Newsday has the latest timeline on the star:
Tavares does not need surgery. 8-12 week rehab on torn mcl. #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 25, 2014
Updates from Monday, Feb. 24
The Islanders have placed John Tavares on injured reserve, a move the team confirmed on its Twitter account:
Updates from Thursday, Feb. 20
Arthur Staple of Newsday reports the results of the MRI conducted on John Tavares' injured knee:
BREAKING NEWS: John Tavares (knee) will miss rest of NHL season, source says. More to come. #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 20, 2014
MRI reveals torn MCL and torn meniscus for Tavares. May need surgery. Will be ready for training camp in September. #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 20, 2014
Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press provides a statement from Tavares' replacement against Team USA, Matt Duchene:
Johnny's been playing great for us, and hopefully he has a speedy recovery and it's not too serious. But it's a big opportunity for myself now, chance to play centre, to play where I'm comfortable. There's been a lot of unfamiliars in this tournament, and when you get a short chance at it, sometimes can be tough, so this is going to be much more familiar.
Whyno followed with an Instagram photo of Canada's practice:
NBC Sports' Ryan Dadoun projected Canada's lines for Friday:
Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron
Jamie Benn-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Patrick Marleau-Jonathan Toews-Jeff Carter
Patrick Sharp-Matt Duchene-Rick Nash
Islanders general manager Garth Snow spoke about Tavares' injury and the Olympics (via
#Isles GM Garth Snow spitting mad over Tavares' Olympic injury: "Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season ticket holders now?"— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 20, 2014
More Snow: "It's a joke. They want all the benefits from NHL players in Olympics and don't want to pay when our best player gets hurt."— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 20, 2014
Snow: "It wouldn't matter if we were 10 points up on a playoff spot or 10 points out. We lost our best player and he wasn't playing for us."— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 20, 2014
Coming into the 2014 Sochi Games, there was talk that the NHL owners wouldn't allow the league's players to participate in the 2018 Olympics. After all, every four years the league is forced to shut down for two weeks and risks injury to some of its biggest stars.
So the fact that John Tavares, star of the New York Islanders, went down to injury on Wednesday in Canada's game against Latvia probably won't help matters with the NHL owners.
Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Sun relays information from head coach Mike Babcock:
Babcock: Tavares has a leg injury and is out of the tournament.— Dave Feschuk (@dfeschuk) February 19, 2014
According to Brett Cyrgalis of The New York Post, Tavares is scheduled to have an MRI Thursday:
Tavares will have an MRI on his left knee tomorrow and stay in Sochi as long as Team Canada does. Not a good feeling around it. #Isles— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 19, 2014
TSN's Bob Mackenzie provides more details:
NYI anxiously awaiting word on extent of injury/how much NHL time Tavares will miss. Hockey Canada doctors will be in contact with NYI docs.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 19, 2014
Of course, Tavares isn't the only NHL star to go down with injury in these Games, as Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer notes:
But Islanders fans probably aren't worried about the larger Olympic debate, or even Team Canada's chances. No, for the fans of the team well down in the standings in the Eastern Conference, the prevailing feeling is probably, "Why us? Why do bad things always happen to us?"
Adam Rubin of ESPN chimed in on that thought:
Of course, John Tavares hurt. Because the Isles can't have nice things: pic.twitter.com/zVrGJCODZN— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 19, 2014
Tavares currently has 24 goals and 42 assists in 59 games for the Islanders this season. His 66 points are third in the NHL, and he's fifth in assists.
While Canada can survive without Tavares given its depth of talent, the Islanders most certainly can't. If he misses any significant amount of time, the already-thin hopes the Islanders may have held to get back into the playoff race will evaporate.
The team is 22-30-8, eighth place in the Metropolitan Division, and its 52 points are the third lowest in the Eastern Conference.
Should Tavares have to hit the shelf for an extended period, most will not fault Islanders fans if they, like the NHL owners, are a bit wary of sending their star to the 2018 Olympic Games.