UNIONDALE, N.Y. (IFP) _ The New York Islanders made a pair of trades today, sending veteran defensemen Mark Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky to all 29 other teams in the NHL.
The savvy, puck-moving blueliners are expected to the perfect fit for all of their new clubs. In exchange, the Islanders will be happy to receive just a few low-round draft picks and some probably busted prospects that could use a fresh start with a team that will give them ice time.
Both players are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Neither is expected to sign an extension with the Islanders because of a provision in the league's new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Visnovsky will arrive in Edmonton, Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, Carolina, St. Louis, New Jersey and Tampa Bay within the next few days to bring a big point shot and a solid defensive game to those teams. Streit is expected to quarterback the powerplays for Vancouver, Los Angeles, Winnipeg, San Jose, Boston, Nashville, Minnesota, Dallas, Phoenix, and Ottawa. Chicago, Pittsburgh and Anaheim will bring the pair in as injury insurance for the playoffs, while Florida, Colorado and Columbus will acquire them to bring veteran leadership to their franchise rebuilding projects.
Both will be flipped by every team to the New York Rangers before the NHL's trade deadline on April 3rd, and Calgary is expected to sign both players to 5-year contract extensions with no-movement clauses.
"It's bittersweet. It's very difficult being traded to every team," said Streit, the Islanders captain since 2009. "I loved my time on Long Island and I look forward to having a chance at winning the Stanley Cup with all 29 other teams."
Visnovsky spent just a few weeks with New York after being acquired at the 2012 Entry Draft in a trade with the Ducks. He filed a grievance to have the trade nullified and wished to stay in Slovakia near his family playing for Bratislava of the KHL. But he lost a mediation hearing and finally reported to the Islanders in early February.
"It's always tough being traded, especially when you have a [expletive] no-trade clause and teams keep [expletive] trading you," a visibly perturbed Visnovsky said. "But the good news is, I've had my luggage packed this whole time waiting for just the right time to escape the Islanders like we used to do in the old days as a Soviet satellite.
"If that means playing for every other hockey team across North America, so be it."
Despite hanging around the playoff bubble, the Islanders chose to make the deals due to pressure from media and fans. Just not their own.
"We read so many articles about trading them, it just seemed like the right thing to do," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. "We wish Mark and Lubo nothing but success playing for every other NHL team. We know the fans that ridiculed them as Islanders will really enjoy pinning all of their Stanley Cup and/or playoff-clinching hopes on them."
THIS IS A PARODY CALM THE HELL DOWN NO ONE'S BEEN TRADED. YET. [And truly, Lubo extension talks are sounding pretty promising, in clear violation of the new CBA.]