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New York Islanders Select John Tavares #1 in NHL Draft; Thousands Step Back from Ledge

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Whew! Turns out we don't need this.

In the end, it was much ado about nothing. There was no reason for the vast swath of John Tavares-coveting fans to panic. No need to believe the talking heads in Canada, nor the "sources" in Colorado. Garth Snow played us all, he played us good -- better than Tavares' agent has seen in 20 years of teen market player drafts. Better, frankly, than I've ever seen in a lifetime of sports. He played us, for the benefit of hype both for his franchise and the league -- although one suspects he didn't mind toying with fellow GMs such as the one who rhymes with Ryan Jerk.

This is the moment fans have been anticipating -- depending on their perspective and degree of fatalism -- since April's lottery, or December's swoon, or October's Rick DiPietro injury, or last summer's committment -- finally -- to the rebuild. This is the moment, everyone outside of Short Island Smurf (Rags) fans could agree, Islanders fans deserve. It's been a while since good news like this -- outside of the lottery itself. Amen.

I'm exhausted, yet happy. Impressed by Snow's poker face, much as it caused anxiety for us all.

That's all I got for now. Feel free to weigh in here, but go here for this blog's 1st-round open thread (there's another pick, you know). There's a whole rest of the draft to cover. More coverage tonight and through the weekend...