UPDATED: Early this morning, Newsday's Arthur Staple reported that a post-game MRI on Tavares revealed a torn MCL and torn meniscus. The injury will force the 23-year-old to the sidelines for the remainder of the NHL season.
Tavares reportedly will undergo surgery upon his return to New York. He's expected to be ready when training camp opens in September.
Despite a roster that features 11 of the NHL's top-25 scorers, Team Canada can't seem to buy a goal at the Olympics ... and things won't get any easier. In the press conference after his team's narrow 2-1 win over Latvia, Canadian coach Mike Babcock confirmed that John Tavares suffered a leg injury and will be lost for the remainder of the tournament.
The injury occurred when Tavares collided with Latvian defenseman Arturs Kulda in the second period. He did not return for the third.
Tavares had been used primarily in a fourth-line role for Canada, but as the NHL's third-leading scorer with 66 points, he clearly had the potential to assume heavier duty if asked.
There's no word yet on whether forward Matt Duchene or defender P.K. Subban will fill the empty roster spot for Canada's semifinal match against Team USA on Friday, nor are there any details on the severity of the injury, but if Tavares is forced to miss any length of time for the Islanders, one of the prime beneficiaries could be Ted Nolan. The Latvian coach will be back behind the bench next week for the Sabres -- the team that owns New York's first-round pick in this year's draft, although it's conditional. If the pick ends up in the top 10, the Isles can push it to 2015, but a first rounder is a first rounder, and if New York hits bottom or close to it this season, GM Garth Snow is going to take some serious heat.