Lubomir Visnovsky shoots on goal during his time as not an Islander. - Jeff Gross
Same drill, different day.
Well, hell. I guess sometimes he really is just not that into you.
Lubomir Visnovsky is saying all the nice things -- and after nearly four months playing at home late in his hockey career (thanks, lockout!) you can at least get why he likes those dumplings. But the optics are he's rejecting the New York Islanders again.
He told his hometown KHL team Slovan Bratislava [rough Golden Pheasant-free translation here], then he told home country sports outlet sport.sme, and he had his agent tell Isles GM Garth Snow and Newsday Isles beatwriter Arthur Staple: Don't make me come back. I don't want to come back. It sure sounds like he's not coming back.
Scratch on, scratch off, the mythical Lubomir Visnovsky. This saga has run on a tidy six months:
- June 22: The Isles acquire him at the draft for a second-round pick.
- The "puck like butterfly" blueliner's late-night interview upon hearing the trade news sounds lukewarm. There is the first rumbling of jumping to the KHL.
- July 23: He files to void the trade, based on a no-trade clause in the contract signed a couple of teams ago.
- August, a "track" in Slovakia: Dude crashes his car.
- Aug. 19: Reject the Isles? Then you're getting the Lighthouse Hockey Zeitgeist treatment. For the second time.
- Sept. 4: The case goes before an arbitrator. The case looks pretty sketchy.
- Sept. 12: The decision is announced and the trade is upheld just in time for training camp. (Wait...) Visnovsky will wear an Islanders uniform after all.
Except he's not.