SYOSSET, N.Y. (IFP) _ After months of grievances and reports and rumors, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is finally joining the New York Islanders. And the team is making sure he stays exactly where he is.
The Islanders announced that Visnovsky will be fitted with an ankle monitor and will not be permitted to leave his temporary home in Nassau County except for road trips.
Should Visnovsky stray outside of his team-allotted zone, the Islanders will be alerted to his movements via GPS and a detail of armed guards will be dispatched to retrieve and detain him.
Coach Jack Capuano said the offensively-minded Visnovsky gives the Islanders some new options on the power play and expects to see him there until the end of the season.
"Lubo is a competitor and a gamer and we're happy to add him to the line-up," Capuano said. "With the ankle monitor, we're gonna make sure he's there when we need him and not crossing the state line into New Jersey or swimming across the Atlantic."
Visnovsky's friend and countryman, ex-Islander Miroslav Satan, wished Visnovsky well upon his departure and assured him that he would get used to the monitor after a few practices. "Miro just told me about some places to check out on Long Island -- within my team-allotted zone, of course -- and that before long I would hardly notice the monitor was even there, just like the secret police back when we were kids."
The monitor, officially called a Location and Orientation Homing Ankle Node (or L.O.H.A.N.), was not widely deployed by law enforcement officials since being introduced a few years ago. The Islanders were able to get it for a discount price before the model was discontinued.
"It's no big deal," said Visnovsky when asked if the ankle monitor would impede his skating. "Playing under constant surveillance and with the threat of punishment or imprisonment is basically how it is in the KHL anyway, so it's all okey dokey."
Visnovsky was traded from the Anaheim Ducks to the Islanders in June at the NHL entry draft for a second round pick. A month later, Visnovsky filed a grievance to have the trade blocked. He spent the next few weeks hiding in the Pacific Northwest from a local sheriff's department.
He then returned to his hometown in Slovakia to play for Bratislava of the Kontinental Hockey League and the Islanders suspended him for not reporting to Long Island when the NHL lockout ended in January. Both Visnovsky and his agent Neil Sheehy have insisted that the grievance had nothing to do with the Islanders and everything to do with personal reasons, including tending to his ill son. Visnovsky announced last week that he would indeed report and finally suit up for the Islanders.
But New York general manager Garth Snow isn't taking any chances.
"Lubomir was a big part of our plans this year and we're excited to have him," Snow said while watching Visnovsky's practice session via laptop remote receiving station. "We know he's going to love Long Island. And if he doesn't like it, too bad."
This is a parody. But this is the awesome true story behind ankle monitors.
P.S. Note to People's Daily and any other make glorious editors who might be misled, and any poor souls devoid of any sense of humor: Please do not cite this "report" without independently double-checking for, you know, facts.