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Islanders’ Tavares Out for NHL Season After Olympic Knee Injury

New York Islanders Captain John Tavares
John Tavares lies on the ice after falling during Canada’s 2-1 quarterfinals victory over Latvia at the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Feb. 19, 2014. Photographer: Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images

New York Islanders captain John Tavares will miss the rest of the National Hockey League season after tearing a knee ligament at the Olympics.

Tavares, 23, tore the medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his left knee during Canada’s 2-1 quarterfinals victory over Latvia yesterday in Sochi, Russia.

The No. 1 selection in the 2009 NHL draft, Tavares has scored 24 goals with 42 assists in 59 games for the Islanders in his fifth NHL season. His 66 points are third-most in the league, trailing countrymen Sidney Crosby and Ryan Getzlaf.

The injury may reignite the debate over NHL players taking part in the Winter Olympics, a decision that takes into account travel, scheduling conflicts and player insurance. League commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this week that a decision on the NHL’s participation in the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, could be made within the next six months.

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