A report surfaced over the weekend that Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was in negotiations with Austrian club KAC on a possible two-year contract. The 38-year old Slovakian will become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season and missed the last few games of the Islanders playoff series with Washington thanks to a concussion.
Today, Visnovsky's agent Neil Sheehy (via a couple of Tweets from Arthur Staple of Newsday) not only shot down the report, but added a glimmer of hope that the beloved "Silver Fox" could return to the Islanders next season. Quoth:
Lubo Visnovsky's agent, @ICEHockeyAgent, told me European report of Lubo signing there or talking contract there is not true.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) May 27, 2015
"Lubo is focused on playing in NHL next season and would love to return to the #Isles," Sheehy said. He and G. Snow have had prelim talks.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) May 27, 2015
Visnovsky played in 53 games this season and finished with five goals and 15 assists. He was slowed by some injuries and a couple of late-season healthy scratchings, but he remains a key player, especially with the man advantage. He's not what he was in his prime - and, truth be told, he can be an adventure out there sometimes - but the Islanders are a more dangerous offensive team with him on-board than without.
It's also possible that "preliminary talks" might be a fancy way of saying "nice weather we're having." But the situation continues to bear watching.
Also from Sheehy comes news that the Islanders have not yet begun negotiating with winger Anders Lee on a new contract. Lee is a restricted free agent and until recently was in the Czech Republic winning bronze at the World Championships so don't get all bent out of shape and let the man enjoy some summer down time.