Garth Snow (right) and the Islanders named John Tavares captain last September. (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
Islanders star John Tavares will miss the rest of the NHL season due to a knee injury he suffered playing for Team Canada in the Olympics, and Islanders general manager Garth Snow isn't pleased about it.
"Are the IIHF [International Ice Hockey Federation] or IOC [International Olympic Committee] going to reimburse our season-ticket holders now? It's a joke," Snow, who played for Team USA in the 1994 Olympics, told Arthur Staple of Newsday on Thursday. "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."
Tavares suffered a torn MCL and torn meniscus in his left knee after getting hit in Canada's win over Latvia on Wednesday. He should be ready for the start of the 2014-15 season.
"I don't begrudge the players. I wore my country's jersey and I know how much every guy wants to represent his country," Snow said. "But NHL players just shouldn't be over there. There's too much at stake."
The 23-year-old center is third in the NHL with 66 points (24 goals, 42 assists), but the Islanders (22-30-8) are 12 points out of a playoff spot in the East with 22 games to play.