EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — John Tavares answered in the most John Tavares way when he was asked for a reaction to the NHL not giving Brad Marchand any supplementary discipline for his hit on the Islanders’ star player in Saturday’s game.
“I don’t really worry about it,” Tavares said after the team’s morning skate at Northwell Health Ice Center. “Like I said, I think the video speaks for itself. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Just to refresh the collective memory, the play Tavares is referring to is one that took place early in the third period of Saturday’s loss to the Boston Bruins. Marchand and Tavares got tangled up near center ice earlier in the play and the Bruins’ forward went for some retribution with a high hit on Tavares.
Marchand was given a five minute major for the play and there was some speculation that the league may give it a second look. The in-game penalty turned out to be the only discipline Marchand faced.
“I was probably a little surprised,” Islanders head coach Doug Weight responded when asked for a reaction to the league’s non-action.
“To me, the one is pretty premeditated,” Weight added. “It’s unfortunate when we only look at results. So if Johnny (Tavares) lies there and he is hurt there probably would have been something done. I don’t know the logic in that, but it’s two days ago I’m not worried about it.”
The NHL is inching closer to having a franchise in Seattle, and rookie forward Mathew Barzal is among those who think a team out there would work.
The NHL announced last Thursday that they would accept an expansion application from Seattle. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement following the league’s board of governors meeting and after the city council approved a memorandum of understanding with Oak View Group to redevelop the ageing Key Arena earlier in the week.
(And yes, that is the same Oak View Group involved in the Islanders bid for a new arena at Belmont Park.)
“They really rally around their teams so it could be awesome,” said Barzal, who spent four years playing for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. “I know the Seahawks do pretty well and the Mariners do pretty well too. Hockey would be a little bit new in that downtown Seattle area, but I think they’d do great.”
Barzal helped the Thunderbirds win the WHL title last season and saw the passion that the fans carry for the sport in the Northwest.
“They’re crazy fans,” he said. “They’re there to enjoy themselves and be loud. It was, I think, the best atmosphere in the whole WHL. I think if it catches fire with the NHL down in Seattle it could be a big thing.”