Lubo *still* knows what the deal is. - Stephen Dunn
The latest interviews reinforce that Lubomir Visnovsky knows what most predict: If he wants to keep playing pro hockey, he probably has to do this half-year as a New York Islander.
Throughout the tired yet somehow entertaining Lubomir Visnovsky saga -- at least the chapter that began after the NHL lockout -- Visnovsky's interviews about personal and family and home reasons have also been tempered with a realization that he doesn't have much of an option. A realization that if the Islanders didn't just bow to his wishes and let him continue playing for the only Slovakian entry in the KHL, he'd have to hop back over the Atlantic.
(Reason: Assuming the KHL does not want to die on the hill known as Lubo, they'd not let him continue playing if he refused to honor his NHL contract.)
Monday saw more from both sides of the Atlantic, even as Visnovsky rode the bus to help Slovan Bratislava in its match with Lev Prague. From the New York Times:
The Islanders confirmed Monday that they had neither suspended Visnovsky nor given consent for him to remain with Slovan.
Visnovsky told a Slovakian newspaper Monday that he wanted to stay with Slovan because of "family issues," but he conceded that the Islanders had a right to be upset with him.
"I hope they’ll give me some time, and then I’ll see," Visnovsky said. "Maybe I’ll go there this season."
In bizarre agent speak, Neil Sheehy is quoted in that article as saying Visnovsky "admires Garth Snow." If true, he has a funny way of showing it.
If he's not in transit by the end of the week, it'll be hard for the Islanders to give him the benefit of the doubt. That said, as they showed with Evgeni Nabokov (who is quoted in the article above), they're not going to let players beg out of their contract -- even players who never intended to sign or play on Long Island.
The dilemma for Visnovsky is his cause, playing for his home team, cannot be continued in either scenario: The Isles won't let him bail, and the KHL probably won't let him play if he decides to bail.
For the Islanders, the hit to their reputation with another bizarre saga is superseded by the fact they planned for and need a defenseman like Visnovsky. If he eventually reports, they can't afford to turn him away.
Previous discussion in this FanPost, and throughout the story stream.