John Tavares

Islanders get good news: Tavares and Wisniewski to play tonight

While the Islanders are trying to bounce back after a tough overtime loss to the Penguins last night, they’ve got some good news to deal with today. The Isles announced that both John Tavares and James Wisniewski will return to the starting lineup tonight for their game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Tavares is returning to action after suffering a mild concussion against the Dallas Stars. With him out of the lineup, Josh Bailey has stepped up to provide offensive support for the ailing Isles. The Islanders, of course, are already without Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit, two injuries that have really hamstrung the team’s offensive production.

Wisniewski is coming back after serving a two-game suspension for delivering an obscene gesture to Rangers forward Sean Avery. While the length of the suspension itself is pretty maddening, the Isles did miss Wisniewski’s presence along the blue line. After all, Streit and Wisniewski are arguably the Islanders top two defensemen and being without them makes life pretty hard. Let’s just hope Wisniewski can keep his fellatio gestures off the ice this time.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.