UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The pain of losing Game 7 against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round on Monday will haunt New York Islanders captain John Tavares throughout the offseason, but he will at least be rewarded with a trip to Las Vegas in June.
Tavares, who finished second in the NHL with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games, on Wednesday was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded to "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team." The trophy will be awarded on June 24.
But after removing his belongings from his locker at Nassau Coliseum for the last time (the Islanders are moving to Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season), Tavares admitted it's going to be hard to move on from the 2-1 loss at Washington in Game 7.
"It's really hard to think about right now just because obviously we're so fresh off the playoffs and with the way they finished," Tavares said at the Coliseum on Thursday. "It's obviously a great honor. Anytime you're up for the Hart Trophy in this League it's pretty special company. Just to be a nominee, it speaks volumes to our team and my teammates, coaching staff, the belief they have in me, and the amount of support I get from them and how well they played, how well my team played … both years I've been nominated (2012-13), both years we went to the playoffs and that's because everyone was contributing. We had a tough team to play against."