John Tavares will be out for the season after tearing his MCL for Team Canada. Credit: Getty Images
You can count Islanders general manager Garth Snow out as a fan of Olympic hockey.
Snow ripped into the International Ice Hockey Federation and International Olympic Committee on Thursday over an injury to his star player, John Tavares, which will keep him out for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.
“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season ticket holders now?” Snow told Newsday. “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.”
The team will not be reimbursed Tavares’ salary as MLB teams are for injuries during the World Baseball Classic. When Mark Teixeira was injured in the WBC last season, the Yankees were able to recoup a prorated portion of his salary.
Tavares, who was playing for Canada, tore his MCL in the quarterfinal win against Latvia on Wednesday. He led the Islanders in goals (24) and assists (42).
The Islanders were optimistic about the 2013-14 season after making the playoffs in 2012-13 and nearly knocking out the top-seeded Penguins. But they are just 22-30-8 on the season. Regardless, Snow was not happy to lose his top player for the season.
“It wouldn’t matter if we were 10 points up on a playoff spot or 10 points out,” Snow told Newsday. “We lost our best player and he wasn’t playing for us.”
The NHL and NHL players’ association have discussed starting a hockey World Cup and not having players go to the Olympics anymore starting as soon as 2018 in South Korea.