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Lubomir Visnovsky may not wind up playing on Long Island (Update: Actually he will)

Jun 24, 2012, 9:59 AM EDT

Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Turris AP

When the Islanders acquired Lubomir Visnovsky during the first round of the NHL Draft, it was seen as a solid pick-up for the team. He’s got a great offensive game from the blue line and is a hard worker.

Of course, things with the Islanders are never quite that easy. Thanks to an interview with Visnovsky on Slovak site HokejPortal.net, we find out the Islanders aren’t the only team that want him to play on their team next season. (Crude Google translation ahead)

In early May, you said that you expect in the NHL last season. Still this is true?

“Still, but I can say that I get a bid from Russia and I think about them. He and his wife have already talked about the fact that in New York can not not go and I’ll take any offer from the KHL, and because I have such opportunities. We’ll see where I end. KHL has signed a contract for some of the NHL and Europe is the only league where I could play in the NHL despite the contract. “

An interesting approach. Can you give a percentage, where you play next season?

“While I do not know it really well so I think in the head. NHL is certainly paramount, but we need to discuss this at home. But as I said, the KHL is a possibility. “

Visnovsky says he knows the Islanders would be disappointed but recognizes that it’s a business and not personal. It’s a cold way to look at things, but the Islanders’ hopes of seeing Visnovsky skating at the Coliseum next year have taken a hit.

Update (11:27 a.m. ET): Arthur Staple of Newsday clears things up via Twitter after speaking with Visnovsky. Visnovsky says the interview on the Slovak site was from before the trade and his first choice is to come and play for the Islanders. Potential crisis averted.

  1. scionofflame - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I really dislike the idea of a player headed overseas after a team trades off resources to get them for next season. Not just in the case of Visnovsky, but any player. Why not just wait until your contract is up to make the move? Otherwise you’re just squandering the resources of a team.

    • alexb64 - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Well unfortunately that’s none of any player’s concern. It’s the same as asking a pending UFA intent on leaving to to let the team know for certain so they can trade him before he leaves, it’s nice when they do it but they’re under no obligation to do so. In the case of leaving to play overseas it’s the same as if the player retired, they wouldn’t be expected to play out their contract before they can retire, like any job you’re free to walk away whenever you choose. The team will still hold control over them for the remainder of whatever contract they did have though should they decide to resume their NHL career. So in the case of a team traded for a guy heading to the KHL, this where doing your due diligence comes in handy.

  2. bossman6 - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    this is not right. if he was still in Anaheim he would play out his contract but since he gets traded to the isles he has decided to take any offer from the KHL. seems no one wants to play for them

    • bcisleman - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Except anyone who HAS. Not only have core players like JT, Moulson, Ox and Grabs agreed to long term deals at less $ than they could have gotten elsewhere, but Evgenti Nabokov, whose situation mirrors LV’s, decided after reporting that he liked the Island and his teammates and decided to extend.

  3. ndrick731 - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    No one wants to play for the Islanders because of the building they play in and the fact that there are more fans at minor league baseball games. Can’t blame the fans though as the team has been mismanaged for so long that there must be no hope among the fans. Team needs to move into new arena or if uppity citizens don’t stop throwing obstacles in the way to move to new location. Otherwise accept the fact that long island will just be a stop along the way to a better future on another team or league.

    • bcisleman - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      See my response above as to players playing on the Island. The NVMC actually is not that bad from a fan standpoint. Could use a major reno. The team WAS mismanaged under Mike Milbury. Garth Snow wasn’t left with a lot but has built the pipeline up from one of the NHL’s worst to one of the best in 5 years. The Isles are about set for a massive turnaround and the fans have already started to respond. A lot of full houses the second part of last season and season ticket sales are way up. Let them make the playoffs this year and watch it explode.

  4. zaro11 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    As a lifelong Islander fan this is just another disappointing event in a very long line of disappointing events. It is really sad that a once storied franchise has fallen so far. Between the mismanagement of the team by ownership, to the arena lease, to the politicians, to the non fans killing the new arena. I can go on but why bother. Not much hope the team will be in NY in 2015.

    • bcisleman - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Plenty of hope actually. Isles will not be leaving NY. Say what you will about Wang, but he is determined to keep the team here and is the reaon it has not. Garth has done a good job turning things around and it will start to show soon.

  5. bcisleman - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Don’t buy line LV gave Staple. If interview was before trade, why is New York mentioned in interview? More likely is his agent heard about the interview, got LV on the phone and said “Dude, does the name Nabokov mean anything to you? If you sign with the KHL, Garth will suspend you and you’ll still owe him the year. You need to do some damage control.”

  6. zaro11 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I agree with you guys about the team and Wang. I think they will make the playoffs this year and can challenge for a cup in a few years. Wang is determined to keep the team here. I don’t think Wang is the problem in keeping the team here. For some reason Nassau politicians and the general public are the problem. There is just too much resistance IMO.

    • bcisleman - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      As LA has shown, if a team can make the playoffs, they can win it all. Isles are likely a bubble team this year. I see them contending for a playoff spot and possibly getting a 6, 7 or 8 seed. At worst, they might finish 9 or 10. Over the next 2-3 seasons, current roster talent will mature and talent in the system will graduate. If hockey karma means anything, they will win the Cup in 2015 and it will be the last thing they do before turning out the lights for good in Uniondale. And Nassau voters won’t be able to blame it on Kate Murray because they voted arena funding down last August.

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