Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Islanders Hurt By Olympics

The news out of the Olympics today is that John Tavares of the New York Islanders is out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury.  This is a significant hit to the New York Islanders.  They lose their best player.  He is currently the third highest scoring player in the NHL. 

As big a hit as this is to the Islanders, realistically it changes little in the NHL story this year.  The New York Islanders have little realistic shot at making the playoffs with or without Tavares.

Despite the hit to the Islanders, the Olympics are good for hockey.  The best hockey in the world is played every four years.  It far outdoes anything the NHL offers us.  The medal round games will likely be the best hockey games we have seen since at least 2010 in Vancouver.

The great hockey games of the Olympics are in the interest of all hockey fans.  Hockey fans should want to see great hockey.  If the cost is an unfortunate injury, that is a cost worth paying.  Injuries are part of hockey.  Not playing games for fear that players get hurt is silly.

The problem is the moneyed interests that control the NHL do not have hockey's best interests at heart.  they have the interests of their pocketbooks.  They have no problem shutting the game down each and every time a CBA ends to extort a better deal from the players.  They have no problem threatening to leave the Olympics to extort a better deal for their pocketbooks.  Many would happily leave the Olympics since the Olympics do not pay them money.  This is a fundamental problem in pro sports.  The game has nobody looking out for its best interests.  It is run by people who only care about extracting as much money as possible from the fan.  When those interests clash, hockey and other pro sports lose.

An injury to John Tavares is unfortunate.  An injury to any player is unfortunate.  Injuries happen.  They cannot be avoided.  If an injury is a byproduct of a great hockey tournament I will accept it as collateral damage.  If it happens in an NHL game, I would also accept it as collateral damage.  At no point would I consider that the fact the injury occurred means we should no longer play hockey.  The problem is some people in the NHL are considering this.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink


Bossy_Rules's avatar

Do you think the Olympics should compensate the NHL or NHL teams for injuries?  The Olympics benefits from having NHL players.  Maybe they should provide insurance to compensate NHL teams for losses due to injuries suffered in Olympic play.

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 02/21/14 at 03:05 AM ET

Chet's avatar

Two sentences you left out:

If the Isles had smarter ownership and management, they’d realize this is a green light to deal (and tank) hard so the team can compete 2-6 seasons from now, inclusive. That won’t happen, though.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/21/14 at 03:45 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar


This is a point where I don`t care about.  My biggest feeling about the big money in hockey is that they are all making a mint.  I wish they would just shut up about it and not hurt the game to get more.


Tanking in order to try to win later is a failed strategy.  Ask the Edmonton Oilers what it did for them.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 02/21/14 at 11:50 AM ET

Bossy_Rules's avatar

I don’t think the Isles should tank but I do think they should trade MacDonald and Vanek.  If Garth is even considering not trading them then he is delusional.

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 02/23/14 at 07:00 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com