I'm Chris Chelios of the NHL's Department of Off-Ice Player Safety. Saturday in Slovakia, an incident occurred between Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and his race car.
At 1:57 p.m., Visnovsky lost control and crashed his Ferrari hood-first into a barrier. As the video shows, after being dangerously pushed into a wall by rival racer Russ Wheeler and suffering blowouts to two tires, Visnovsky, under his racing pseudonym of "Cole Trickle," has his pit crew quickly replace the tires then drives directly into Wheeler as he takes his victory lap. This is an example of the Dangerous Off-Season Hobby Rule which states:
Dangerous Off-Season Hobby Rule 51: A player may not participate in any dangerous off-season hobbies, even if he's trying to purposefully injure himself just to get out of playing for the team he's currently contracted to.
While we understand that players can and will spend their off-season time as they see fit, we do not feel Visnovsky's racing hobby is constructive or healthy. Rather we feel this was an intentional, deliberate attempt by Visnovsky to injure himself in order to avoid playing for the Islanders.
Despite the fact that Wheeler's actions prior to the crash were reckless, Visnovsky shows clear frustration following the initial blowouts probably because he knows he has not only lost the race but that he might still have to play for the Islanders if an arbitrator doesn't uphold the grievance filed by he and his agent to rescind his trade from Anaheim to Long Island. Like most people, Visnovsky would rather perish painfully in a fiery wreck of twisted metal and burning rubber than play a season for the Islanders.
We have taken into consideration the fact that Visnovsky was not significantly injured in the crash and that the Islanders gave him permission to participate in the race. We have also taken into consideration that Visnovsky was previously suspected of trying to asphyxiate himself with his skate laces upon being traded from Los Angeles to Edmonton in 2008.
- Driving race cars is a dangerous off-season hobby for a professional hockey player.
- There was no significant injury to Visnovsky on the play.
- Nobody wants to play for the Islanders.
- The Islanders gave Visnovsky permission to race, which means they were either A. Confident in his racing abilities; B. Trying to keep him happy; C. Cool with him maybe getting hurt since they're so used to it or; D. Hoping he would get hurt so they could ship him back to the Ducks in a body cast.
The NHL has decided to suspend Visnovsky from racing until he completes 1,000 hours of Pole Position. as well as passing a road test administered by international racing superstar, The Stig. The NHL has also fined the New York Islanders $1,000, or one dollar for every way in which their players have gotten hurt over the years.
Previous NHL Off-Ice Disciplinary Video Transcripts:
July 14, 2012: Cam Janssen
May 8, 2012: Ryan Getzlaf & Corey Perry
Even though this is a parody, get well soon, Lubo... no matter who you end up playing for.