John Tavares

Islanders will keep GM Garth Snow and coach Jack Capuano


The New York Islanders haven’t made the playoffs since 2006-07, but the pieces seem to be slowly falling in place for them. John Tavares is blossoming into a legitimate star, they have found some diamond-in-the-roughs in P.A. Parenteau and Matt Moulson and turned them top-six forwards, and their supporting cast is starting to look impressive. They are still young and have a fair amount of growing left to do, but they have been making progress even if their record doesn’t reflect it yet.

That’s probably what team owner Charles Wang was thinking when he announced that GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano would return for the 2012-13 campaign. That might be an unpopular decision for a franchise that hasn’t enjoyed a winning season for quite some time while the rival Rangers are on course to secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but as painful as a rebuilding process can be, it can also pay off big time.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.