New York is the biggest sports market in the United States, and it’s a magnet for superstars. The Rangers, Islanders and Devils boast a plethora of talented players.
For the first time in a long time, the Islanders might have some margin for error heading into a season.
The Islanders are at a crossroads and have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. I figured I’d sit down with Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien and ask him a few of those questions.
For most teams, the offseason begins when the Stanley Cup Final ends. The New York Islanders, however, are not like most teams. For better or for worse, their situation is unique, something general manager Garth Snow is fully aware of.
“I don’t think we’re far off at all,” defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “I certainly believe in the group we have.”
When John Tavares went down for the season no one thought the Islanders would be remotely watchable, let alone competitive. However, just the opposite has occurred.
Whether it’s the younger players fighting for roster spots or the role players looking to show some pride, I think this team will show a ton of heart the rest of the way.
The Islanders’ franchise player will require eight to 12 weeks of rehab, but should be able to participate in offseason workouts leading up to training camp in September.
Garth Snow is angry, and understandably so. But the words that came out of his mouth on Thursday regarding the shocking injury that ended John Tavares’ Olympics and, more importantly, his season with the Islanders, were misguided.
“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season-ticket holders now? It’s a joke,” Snow said. “They want all the benefits from NHL players playing in the Olympics and don’t want to pay when our best player gets hurt.”
Oh no, Canada! Oh no, Nassau! The Islanders have lost their star and captain for the rest of the season because of a major knee injury at the Sochi Games.
Tavares went down in a heap following a big hit along the boards by Latvia’s Arturs Kulda during the second period of Canada’s 2-1 victory in the Olympic quarterfinals on Wednesday.
John Tavares knows a thing or two about playing on the international stage. The 23-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario has represented Canada in seven tournaments since 2006 and has put together an impressive portfolio.
The hockey competition was stellar in Vancouver in 2010, and it should be the same this time around. It’s the depth of talent that makes this tournament so watchable.
The Islanders traded for Thomas Vanek because of one simple reason: They are not the Rangers. They cannot sit back and let name recognition sell the franchise. They need to roll the dice to take the next step.