The Isles’ hopes for a veteran defenseman to help anchor the blueline might be dashed, depending on how you take this news.
Lubomir Visnovsky, traded from the Ducks for a song (well, no, just a second-rounded in next year’s draft), has told Chris King and a Slovak website that he is weighing his options regarding a return to the NHL in blue and orange. According to these interviews (and a write-up by Islanders Point Blank), Visnovsky might stay in his native Slovakia or even play in the KHL.
That’s right. Because for some people, playing in Russia is a better fate than playing on Long Island.
Just kidding. (Kind of?)
I shouldn’t get wound up about this, and neither should you because after all, it’s (to a point) the player’s decision on where to play. He doesn’t play in a vacuum; what team and where he chooses to go has a profound impact on his family. Slovakia to New York is a stretch, especially when his contract is up after next season. Plus, in the event of that ugly word no one wants to say (or says too much), moving all the way to the States for 40 or 50 games would probably seem pointless to a guy who’s 35 and close to the end of his playing career. Therefore, I don’t think it’s directly a result of him wanting to snub Long Island that Visnovsky isn’t exactly jumping at the chance to be an Islander. (Let’s also note that the interview quotes on IPB was Google Translated. Yeah. Just going to leave that out there.)
That’s what the rational part of my mind is saying, after the irrational-fan part stopped screaming something about European players and Long Island not being hell on Earth.
UPDATE!!!!!!: Arthur Staple of Newsday tweets that Visnovsky is set to come to training camp and said the interview from the Slovak website was taken before the Islanders traded for him. So we can all breathe, people.