Tavares will be ‘100 per cent’ for Islanders’ exhibition game vs. Senators at Mile One

Robin
Robin Short
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New York Islanders captain John Tavares will be ready to join his team when the Isles play their first NHL exhibition game next September at Mile One Centre.
New York and the Ottawa Senators are slated to hook up in St. John’s in an NHL friendly slated for Sept. 22. Tickets for the game are $125.
It’s the first game Tavares will play for the Islanders since tearing the MCL and meniscus in his left knee at the 2014 Winter Olympics in February. He missed the remainder of Canada’s gold-medal run in Sochi, and the rest of the Islanders’ season.

New York Islanders captain John Tavares will be ready to join his team when the Isles play their first NHL exhibition game next September at Mile One Centre.

New York and the Ottawa Senators are slated to hook up in St. John’s in an NHL friendly slated for Sept. 22. Tickets for the game are $125.

It’s the first game Tavares will play for the Islanders since tearing the MCL and meniscus in his left knee at the 2014 Winter Olympics in February. He missed the remainder of Canada’s gold-medal run in Sochi, and the rest of the Islanders’ season.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow said this week Tavares will be “100 per cent” ready to go for the St. John’s game, and will be in the New York lineup.

“He’s skating, and there’s no issues with him starting training camp on time,” Snow said. “We will have close to our regular lineup along with John playing in St. John’s.”

It’s the fourth NHL exhibition at Mile One since the arena opened in 2001. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens met that year, and the Isles and Boston Bruins met in a 2007 exhibition. Three years ago, the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets played the Kraft Hockeyville game at Mile One, the year the Jets relocated from Atlanta where they were the Thrashers.

Colin Greening of St. John’s skated for the Senators in that game, and will be in Ottawa’s lineup in September. While Tavares emerged as one of the NHL’s elite players last season (66 points in 59 games), Greening endured an off-season, collecting only six goals and 17 points, though he did appear in 76 games for the Sens.

Snow, a former Islanders’ goalie, played in the American Hockey League and was a member of the old Cornwall Aces when they were in St. John’s to play the Maple Leafs in the mid-1990s at Memorial Stadium.

He’s well aware of the success of the St. John’s IceCaps, and the city’s reputation as a solid AHL market.

“That market, and the attendance speaks for itself in how the fan base has embraced the American Hockey League,” he said.

The Jets are set to pull their farm club from St. John’s following completion of the 2014-15 AHL season, and IceCaps’ officials are working at finding a replacement for Winnipeg’s club.

A possible team, according to come reports, is the Islanders, although Snow quickly pointed out New York has a long-term contract with Bridgeport, Conn., where the Sound Tigers are only an hour’s drive or so from Uniondale, N.Y., home to the Isles for now until they move to Brooklyn in 2015.

“If you get into a situation where you have to call up a player, it’s convenient in that regard,” he said.

“We’re just focused on playing a pre-season game there. It’s an opportunity to play in front of a great crowd. We have our affiliate in Bridgeport for next season.

“But who knows what the future brings.”

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: New York Islanders, NHL, Ottawa Senators Winnipeg Jets American Hockey League Toronto Maple Leafs Montreal Canadiens Boston Bruins Kraft Hockeyville Sound Tigers

Geographic location: New York, Canada, Sochi Atlanta Ottawa Winnipeg Bridgeport, Conn. Uniondale Brooklyn Bridgeport

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