The New York Islanders announced earlier that John Tavares was injured and is week-to-week. Everybody collectively went to Google to ensure that this was not an elaborate April Fools Day prank. It turned out that it wasn’t.
For all intents and purposes, the team would have to win out to make the playoffs. Even then, their chances stand at just a hair over 50 percent. That seems nearly insurmountable enough even without their best player. One cannot be faulted for basically calling the season over with Tavares out.
Still, that leaves an open roster spot and the Islanders only carry one extra forward thanks in large part to their controversial goalie carousel. The team has decided to fill that spot with Bridgeport Sound Tigers forward Connor Jones. Should he play at all, he’ll be making his National Hockey League Debut.
There’s no nice way to put it - Jones’ numbers in the American Hockey League are not great. He has just five goals and 13 assists in 56 games with the minor club. That’s places him tenth out of Bridgeport’s forwards in points and given AHL to NHL conversions, he’s probably not much of an NHL player.
Ultimately this move seems like a bit of a punt on the season. There are considerably better options waiting in the wings, but with Bridgeport only a point out of the playoffs and the prospects for the Islanders making it looking as bleak as they do, they may not want to disrupt Bridgeport too much. This doesn’t exactly scream “guy that should replace Tavares in the lineup.”
Jones had Springfield (there was history, but still) and the Phantoms going after him all night the past two games. Energy guy, PKer here— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) April 1, 2017
If nothing else, the next few games should be interesting. With Tavares out and Jones in, the expectations for the team going forward for the remaining eight days aren’t exactly high. Perhaps that loosens the locker room up and they go on a tear. If not, this will just be the sad ending to an incredibly disappointing season.