Sweet home, Bratislava / Where the skies are so grey - Martin Rose

The Lubomir Visnovsky (Not) to New York Islanders Saga

For the love of Kirk Muller, few player transactions have had as long and twisted narratives as the Lubomir Visnovsky New York Islanders saga.

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21 Total Updates since January 7, 2013
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  • Articles 12
  • All Updates 21

Visnovsky could play Saturday vs. Sabres

By this point you know Lubomir Visnovsky is at long last on his way to the New York Islanders, so we needn't continue with the breathless updates through stretched translations of reports from his home country of Slovakia.

But to hopefully tie a bow on this story stream, which in one context stretches back to last summer, Newsday's Arthur Staple says the not-quite-prodigal defenseman should arrive on Long Island this evening in time to have his physical Thursday morning:

Visnovsky has battled injuries over the past couple of seasons, so cross your fingers he passes the physical.

Look for more from Staple in Newsday. After facing the New York Rangers at the Garden Thursday, the Islanders will host the Buffalo Sabres at Nassau Coliseum Saturday night.

The Isles have one open roster slot thanks to Radek Martinek being placed on IR earlier this week. If, as Staple also suggests, Josh Bailey (knee) is targeting a return by Saturday, that means there's one more move to come.


Bits: Devils post-game; Lubo confirmed on his way

Picking through the pieces of the New York Islanders loss to the Devils, and confirming that Lubomir Visnovsky is due to report Wednesday.


Visnovsky: Will leave Slovakia Wednesday

In a lengthy interview with sport.sk, the suspended New York Islanders defenseman explains when he's reporting and why it's sooner than previously expected.


Visnovsky may report after son's Feb. 9 surgery

We all know Lubomir Visnovsky is suspended and not (yet) reporting because of "personal issues," but when might he show up with the New York Islanders?

Slovakian sports outlet sportky.sk suggests it might come around Feb. 14, as his son is to have surgery Feb. 9. [Google Translate gobblygook here.]

As the report notes, the Isles play the New York Rangers at the Garden Feb. 14, then are home to the New Jersey Devils Feb. 16.

But there's a lot of roster shuffling -- and a whole lot of defensemen in camp -- to be dealt with between now and then.

As you were.

(h/t rickrays in comments)


Report: It's Visnovsky's son's health. Really.

Finland-based sportswriter Matias Strozyk tweeted new quotes that -- depending on your degree of cynicism -- either illuminate Lubomir Visnovsky's reluctance to return to the NHL or add another layer to the whole saga:

The reason Islanders fans are understandably suspicious is that: 1) this information is only bleeding out now, and 2) some suspect a "two to three week" period is a ruse to buy time for negotiations that the KHL claims are possible under its MOU with the NHL about contracts during the lockout year.

Maybe the player didn't want to make a big deal of private matters. Maybe it's something more from the one NHLer who seemed to hope the lockout would not end. Regardless, you hope his son is fine, and you figure Visnovsky will eventually be in uniform.


Agent: Visnovsky 'looks forward' to reporting

Another trans-Atlantic day, another slow trickle of Lubomir Visnovsky news. The latest has his agent, Neil Sheehy, tweeting:

Newsday's Arthur Staple had two sources saying a "family matter" could take two to three weeks. Good thing the New York Islanders are piling up extra defensemen.

Many here and elsewhere have pointed out that 2012-13 became a special homecoming season -- until the end of the lockout, anyway -- for Visnovsky and his compatriots as Slovan Bratislava entered the KHL and is now within reach of a playoff spot. On that note, Tuesday Slovan traveled to regional rival Lev Prague for a key meeting in the West Division race.

Even with Visnovsky barred from suiting up, his team won and opened up a six-point gap over Prague, an 11-point lift over the ninth-place team for eight available playoff spots.

Who knows, maybe everyone will get a portion of what they want.


KHL denies appeal, Visnovsky cites family reasons

The walls continue to close on Lubomir Visnovsky's attempt to bail on the New York Islanders and the final year of a five-year NHL contract originally signed with the Los Angeles Kings:

Maybe there are issues at home to sort out -- some reports reference "family" and "health" -- and maybe that's a diversion. (Boy, people will feel bad if they find out something serious about his family.) Regardless, he's now a man without a team until he reports to the Islanders and fulfills his deal.

The Islanders are waiting.


Lubo: The slow, increasing realization

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.


Visnovsky will miss training camp

The New York Islanders defenseman continues to play with his KHL team and will once again miss training camp on Monday.


Staple: Visnovsky not on that plane

Did we say the Lubomir Visnovsky situation is a saga? It's a saga.

Saturday morning Newsday's Islanders beat reporter Arthur Staple tweeted that the Isles had made arrangements to get Visnovsky to Long Island in time for camp and physicals Sunday.

Two and a half hours later, this:


#Isles booked flight for Visnovsky today. He wasn't on it. Appears this will be settled between NHL and KHL now.

Not clear whether the Isles had assurances he would take the flight and he reneged, or if this is just another escalating step in building a grievance for a player that hasn't/won't report.


Why you push Lubo around?

The Lubomir Visnovsky saga just keeps getting better. The latest comments, to Slovakian site Sportky.sk, relay that he wasn't happy after a phone call from Garth Snow and Doug Weight before a game with Slovan, the Slovakian KHL team where he's played during the lockout.

Visnovsky, according to a translation by the New York Times:

"Both went after me emotionally — it was hard for me ... I said that now I have a game to focus on, so I had to forget about it and play."

The Times also says he is tired of being "pushed" by the Islanders and the NHL. The 36-year-old defenseman is in the fifth year of a five year contract that pays him $28 million, minus escrow and outbreaks of lockout.

These are probably the words of a player who has really enjoyed playing in front of hometown fans and realizes that will not be possible for much longer, if the KHL enforces an agreement claimed by the NHL.

If you've followed any of Visnovsky's history of fun interviews while in the NHL, you know such heartfelt and somewhat quirky talk is par for the course. However this ends, there will be more fun quotes to come.


That said, Lubo knows the deal here

Even though Lubomir Visnovsky's North American agent is the (reluctant?) purveyor of his statements claiming he's decided to stay with KHL Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia, out of the other side of his mouth he's acknowledging -- again -- that he has to and will report to the Islanders if forced, Newsday reports.

In related news, KHL officials and some players are making something of a fuss in Russian media about maybe the NHL lockout puts those contracts in jeopardy, but you that's how that whole drill goes. If Ilya Kovalchuk stays in the KHL this season, then the Hudson River is the secret to the Northwest Passage.


Daly on Visnovsky: We had a deal, man

"This is what happens, Lubo. This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps."

Something to that effect, except without Walter's trademark "enthusiasm," is how NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly responded to reporters when asked about the Lubomir Visnovsky situation.

Visnovsky has let it be known through his agent Neil Sheehy he intends to ride this season out with Slovan Bratislava, the Slovakian KHL club where he's been spending the NHL lockout.

Daly told Newsday's Arthur Staple that the NHL and KHL have an agreement that would prevent contracted NHL players from continuing in the KHL. This saga, per its nature, isn't over yet.


Visnovsky Still Don't Want None of This

Same drill, different day.


Arbitrator: You're an Islander, Lubo

An arbitrator has upheld the Anaheim Ducks' trade of Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders, meaning their top four and powerplay should improve. If there's a season.


The Case of the Vanishing No-Trade Clause

Wait, is this all there is to the Visnovsky grievance?


For Visnovsky, sometimes the puck like butterfly

Lubomir Visnovsky is an interesting, complex cat.


Isles trade 2013 2nd for Lubomir Visnovsky

The Islanders acquired offensive defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky! This totally does not solve their blueline problems, they will learn over the next six months of drama.

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