John Tavares Injury, And The Ripple Effect It Could Have

It’s the stuff nightmares are made of. A NHL star has been lost for the rest of the season due to an injury that happened on Winter Olympic ice. On Wednesday, news broke that New York Islanders star John Tavares suffered a knee injury and would miss the rest of the Olympic Games. That news has been updated; Tavares will not only miss the rest of the Olympics, but he is out of action until September.

The injury occurred during Team Canada’s game yesterday. Tavares and Latvian player Arturs Kulda ran into each other during the second period yesterday. Tavares was unable to return. An update written by Allan Muir on says that an MRI has shown a torn MCL and a torn meniscus.

For the Islanders and the NHL, this is just another black-eye on their players competing in the Olympics. Having a player like Tavares go down for the rest of the year may spark the debate between the NHL and the IIHF. TMMOTS has posted several stories about the NHL sitting out in 2018, and this injury is why I think it needs to happen. There is an argument to be made that it’s an honor and the players’ right to compete in the Olympics, however there are outstanding issues here. Players are under contract to play in the NHL, and some contracts have limits to what a player can and cannot do during a season. Maybe it’s time to add the Olympics to the do not do list.

While this is bad news for the league and for the Islanders, one team must be smiling from ear to ear. The Buffalo Sabres are in line for the Islanders 2014 or 2015 top pick. With Tavares going down, the chances of that top pick being in the top ten or even a top five pick are getting higher by the minute.

It would seem this one injury could have a ripple effect on many levels. It could affect the future of two NHL teams and it could hurt the IIHF’s chances of seeing NHL talent in 2018.



Tags: Buffalo Sabres John Tavares New York Islanders NHL Injuries Winter Olympics

  • Mike Flynn

    If gms don’t want their players playing in the Olympics don’t let them. But would you add offseason things as well do owners say no hockey can be played by r players unless it’s an official nhl game? Giroux hurt his hand and needed surgery last offseason did Snyder say that no flyers are allowed to play golf??? It’s a contact sport injuries happen players shouldn’t be told they can’t represent their country you may see more Europe defections if this happens jmo.

    • Patrick Helper

      You have some valid points. I look at it this way, players signed an NHL contract. I could see gms saying players can’t not compete in any other league or event unless the teams sends said player there. As for players leaving for Europe, I do think that could happen if the NHL and owners pull the plug on Olympic play. My guess is some players from Europe would go home. North Americans would stay in the NHL.

  • Ben Chalker

    It also means that Vanek will be changing address again. Though the Austrian teams shenanigans in Sochi might not help…

  • Richard

    HEY Please check your facts before you write. If the Islander pick is a top 10 pick the Islanders have the right to push the Saber pick back to 2015.

    • Patrick Helper

      Richard, thanks for commenting. I know that the Islanders can push their pick. “The Buffalo Sabres are in line for the Islanders 2014 OR 2015 top pick.” All I was saying is this was good news for Buffalo, who are in line for a great pick no matter what year it is for.

      • Richard

        LOl you are right, every year the Islanders have a good chance of having the #1 over all pick.
        After watching the Olympics and all the wonderful European players you wonder if the Islanders even have a European scout and even more important does he have a budget.
        But what can you expect from Garth Snow and Charles Wang. Remember Snow’s two Free Agent signings (Peter Regin and Marc Andre Bouchard) where given away to the Stanley Cup Champs for nothing and remember the draft where he took 6 D-men. There seems to be no game plan. Hey can we have our old friend Darcy back?