Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/18/11 at 11:17 PM ET
from Joe Gergen of the Wall Street Journal,
He is not a star. At least not yet in the opinion of National Hockey League officials, who withheld the designation in completing the rosters for the All-Star Game at the end of the month. John Tavares may have been an overall No. 1 draft choice. He may be the brightest light in one of the sport’s darker enclosures. But it will be at least another year before he skates on hockey’s grand stage.
Mr. Tavares remains weighted down by a combination of great expectations and franchise failures. Three decades after creating one of the more remarkable dynasties in NHL history, the Islanders are struggling to attract crowds to the aging Nassau Coliseum, struggling to win a third of their games and struggling to survive in the crowded New York market. A horrendous seven-week skid in which they lost all but one of 21 contests virtually knocked them out of playoff contention well before Christmas and relegated Tavares to an afterthought in the buildup to the showcase event in Raleigh.
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