Isles GM Snow furious over Tavares injury; calls IOC, IIHF ‘a joke’


Not long after Isles captain John Tavares was ruled out for the year with a knee injury suffered at the Olympics, his GM went on the offensive.

“Are the IIHF or IOC going to reimburse our season ticket holders now?” Snow asked, per 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.”

Tavares, 23, tore his MCL and meniscus during Canada’s 2-1 win over Latvia on Wednesday, thanks to a hit from ex-Winnipeg defenseman Arturs Kulda in the second period. It’s the first major injury of Tavares’ career — a Hart Trophy nominee in ’13, he’s only missed three games (concussion) since breaking in during the 2009-10 campaign.

He’s the fifth NHL player to go down to injury during the Sochi Games. Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg (back), Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello (hand) and Florida’s Tomas Kopecky (head) and Aleksander Barkov (knee) were also hurt while in Russia, and their outlooks for return are murky.

Fear of injury is one of the reason NHL owners have been leery about sending players to the Olympics. Commissioner Gary Bettman is always quick to point out NHLers are “invited guests” of the IOC when it comes to the Winter Games, and that players are treated the same as any other participating athletes.

That isn’t doing much to appease Snow, however.

“It wouldn’t matter if we were 10 points up on a playoff spot or 10 points out,” he fumed. “We lost our best player and he wasn’t playing for us.”

Update: According to the New York Daily News, the Isles will receive something in the way of compensation…

According to a spokesman from the NHL players association, nothing changes for an injured Olympic player from a salary front. For the team, his salary is covered by the insurance coverage that was paid for by IOC.

If players need surgery – like Tavares most certainly will – the spokesman said he’d imagine that it would fall under insurance as well, which the IOC would cover.

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal


Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.