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

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...