New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow saw his best player John Tavares suffer a season-ending knee injury in Canada’s 2-1 victory over Latvia on Wednesday at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The Isles are 12 points out of a wild-card playoff spot and are likely destined for another top five NHL draft pick after losing their leading scorer and captain.
As expected, Snow is extremely angry at the situation, and he directed his frustration toward the International Olympic Committee on Thursday.
“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season ticket holders now?” Snow told Arthur Staple of 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. It wouldn’t matter if we were 10 points up on a playoff spot or 10 points out. We lost our best player and he wasn’t playing for us.”
It’s easy to blame the IOC for Tavares’ injury, but it was just an unlucky break for the Islanders. The NHL players, including Tavares, wanted to be in Sochi. If Tavares had been left off of the Olympic roster, Snow probably would have ripped Hockey Canada’s management staff because his No. 1 center is one of the 10 best players in the world.
The NHL hasn’t made a decision on whether its players will travel to South Korea for the 2018 Winter Games. But after Snow’s comments and Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider’s remarks a few weeks ago, there seems to be plenty of support around the league for keeping the players in North America.