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IOC will pay Tavares’ salary during his absence from Isles lineup

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

Canada forward John Tavares is helped up off the ice by a trainer during the second period of a men’s quarterfinal ice hockey game against Latvia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Tavares is out for the rest of the Olympics with an unspecified leg injury. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey

It won’t fill the massive void John Tavares leaves behind and it probably won’t cool New York Islanders GM Garth Snow’s temper, but at least it’s something: the IOC’s insurance will cover Tavares’ salary during his injury absence.

That word comes from both TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie and New York Newsday.

Consider this another minor silver lining for the Islanders, as it appears the 23-year-old won’t need surgery on a partially torn MCL. (It’s worth noting that knee injuries can be tricky, however, so we’ll see how his rehab goes along.)

Snow slammed the IIHF/IOC as a “joke” and asked if they would reimburse Islanders season ticket holders for the injury following the tough news on Feb. 20. Obviously, that isn’t the case, but that insurance policy will cover the ongoing portion of Tavares’ $5 million salary for however long he’s absent from the Isles’ lineup.

(Tavares is still expected to miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season, even with some optimistic early reactions to his knee issues.)

If Isles fans need a more obvious positive number, consider this: Tavares’ contract carries a manageable $5.5 million cap hit through 2017-18. Granted, that’s a big picture factor, but still.

In the shorter term, the Islanders hope to make up for the loss of their captain by giving greater opportunities to younger players. The Isles get back into action against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins