NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was an Islanders fan’s worst nightmare.
In Canada’s quarterfinal matchup against Latvia at the Sochi Olympics on Wednesday, Isles center John Tavares suffered a torn medial collateral ligament and a torn meniscus in his left knee.
He’ll miss the rest of the NHL season, which has been a nightmarish one for the last-place Islanders.
Isles general manager Garth Snow couldn’t hold back his frustration when his star player’s MRI was revealed.
“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season-ticket holders now? It’s a joke,” Snow said, according to Newsday. “They want all the benefits from NHL players playing in the Olympics and don’t want to pay when our best player gets hurt.
“This is probably the biggest reason why NHL players shouldn’t be in the Olympics, it should just be amateurs. And it could have happened to anyone; it just happened to be us that lost our best player. A lot of people pay to see John play. It wouldn’t matter if we were 10 points clear of a playoff spot or 10 points out. We lost our best player and he wasn’t even (injured while) playing for us.”
Despite the buzz that the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament has generated, there has been an ongoing debate over whether NHL players should be allowed to participate in the Olympics.
The league and the players’ union have yet to commit to playing in the Pyeongchang Games in 2018. NHL players have represented their countries in each Winter Olympics since the Nagano Games in 1998.
Tavares was brilliant for the Isles in 2013-14, scoring 24 goals and dishing out 42 assists (66 points) in 59 games.
The 23-year-old former first-overall pick is expected to be ready for the start of next season.
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