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Visnovsky’s agent says he’ll play for the Islanders if he has to

Jan 10, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Turris AP

Lubomir Visnovsky may not want to play for the Islanders, but he might wind up being forced to report to the team. If that’s the way it has to be, his agent says that’s fine by him.

Arthur Staple of Newsday hears from Visnovsky’s agent Neil Sheehy about the curious situation and finds out if he has to go to Long Island, he’ll be there.

“His preference is stay in Bratislava, but if the KHL says he can’t play there, he’ll come and play for the Islanders,” Sheehy says.

The KHL has said they’ll honor all NHL contracts, yet KHL president Alexander Medvedev said they would challenge any deals thanks to the new CBA. Meanwhile, we’re left to wonder why Visnovsky wants to stay in a league where he really dislikes the officiating. It can’t be that bad on Long Island… Can it?

  1. rsl22 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I’m not saying he has the right to just reject the Islanders, but before the “go ahead and stay, Rusky!” comments popup, I think it’s a bit understandable for a 36-year-old with a family to want to stay closer to home.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      Things change, for sure, but he could have thought about that prior to signing his last contract. He got more money at the start by agreeing to a longer deal.

      • rsl22 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        Didn’t he get traded three times since he signed that deal?

      • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Yup, and he (and his agent of course) was the one who negotiated a deal where the NTC didn’t kick in right away. Again, if he wanted the option to go and play back home later in his career while still getting job security here, he would have taken less (money and term) to get the NTC right away and have the option to leave on his terms.

  2. spicyjimbolaya - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    He will make a great teammate, if he is only there because he got dragged there. Grow some balls and make a decision already.

    • ThatGuy - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Did you eat paint chips as a kid?

      He’s made his decision, its to stay in the KHL. Beyond that there exist external factors he cannot control, like whether the KHL and IIHF will allow him to stay in the KHL. If they don’t, he will go back to the NHL.

      • bcisleman - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Thing is, no one held a gun to his head when he signed the contract that kept him in the NHL through the end of this season. If he wants to go home NEXT year, fine. But for this year, he is signed to a contract that he freely negotiated and got a lot more money for doing so. He is obligated to honor it or should be.

  3. openthird - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Bratislava just began airing Everybody Loves Raymond. Can you blame him for wanting to stay and see the series out?

  4. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Hmmmmmm………..something tells me someone advised him that he might spend more in legal costs and get sued for as much money as he could potentially make by not playing.

  5. islesjb - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    As an Islander fan, I am not taking it personally that he doesn’t want to come here and can see his side of the story. He’s a 36 yo player who has been dicked around by the NHL- he was traded 3 times after signing a contract with a no-trade clause so he has good reason to be bitter.

    It’s different than the Nabokov situation who straight up didn’t want to play for the Islanders because they were a bottom barrel team.

    Having said all that, I hope he shows up because the Isles defense will be pretty thin without him and then we’d lose a 2nd round draft pick for nothing.

    • Jaja.. - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      + he has the best slapper from the blue-line. Streit isn’t getting younger either..

      He should report to the Islanders, if he wanted to stay close to home he should’ve become a stay at home dad not a professional hockey player!
      If he was traded to the Pittsburgh he was probably already skating next to Crosby. I hate players like that. Just not wanting to play for the Islanders because they’re a bottom team but at the end of next year he will sign one more 2 year deal with some other NHL club because he can. He still has a good Slapper from the blue-line Joe Corvo also get jobs each year because of his slapper.

    • tatdue - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      What do you mean it’s different than the Nabokov situation? The only thing different is that Visnovsky won’t just admit it is all….I mean really, the guy has been trying to fight this trade since it happened and now he is saying that he would rather play in BRATISLAVA than with the Isles! Buddy, no offence but this guy does NOT want to be an Islander period….and I think that Bratislava says it all. Good luck this year though….. :)

      • islesjb - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        First off, Bratislava is not just sound random Eastern European place; it’s his home town. It would make sense that he would rather play in front of a home crowd then a random team that he has no allegiance to.

        Maybe it would have been different had he been traded to a top tier Western team like the Redwings, but I think the situation would have played out similarly for the majority of teams. He feels wronged by the NHL as a whole and is comfortable right now playing in the place where he grew up. I don’t think he has anything directly against playing for the Islanders other than the fact that it would be the 3rd time he’s been traded to a team after having a NTC. Add in the lockout and I think he’s just fed up with the league at this point.

        No one can say for certain what’s going on his head but that’s just my opinion.

    • bcisleman - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Isles have a lot of talent that is near NHL-ready. He would help for this year. Don’t think they’d need him next year. He signed a contract that extended to this year and got paid a lot more money to do so. He should report and go sign in the KHL next year if he wants.

  6. digbysellers - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Yes, it is that bad on Long Island

    • bcisleman - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      It’s fine on the Island–other than the odd hurricane or two. Isles are loaded with talent and now have an arena deal.

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