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Monday, January 07, 2013

Canceled Czech? Lubo wants to stay in Slovakia

New moved this afternoon that Lubomir Visnovsky, who the Isles acquired for a 2nd round draft choice in this June's draft, wants to stay at home and not come to North America.

Arthur Staple has detailed story here: http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/isles-files-1.812028/lubomir-visnovsky-staying-in-slovakia-for-rest-of-year-1.4417479

However, TSN's Bob MacKenzie is noting on twitter that "NHL has been assured that KHL won't let players with valid NHL deals plays in KHL" (which is the league that Lubo is playing).

Some had noted a similarity between Visnovsky and Jiri Hudler, who jumped to the KHL a few years ago -- the Red Wings tried to stop it, saying that Hudler, a restricted free agent, had elected arbitration, but apparently only Hudler's agent ... and not Hudler, had made that choice.  The IIHF eventually awarded Hudler a transfer card; he spent one season in the KHL before returning to North America.

Guess it's a bit of a wait and see -- but it has significant impact on the Isles -- both on the ice, and with the salary cap/floor as Visnovsky, who was to be paid $3M this season, carries a $5.6M cap hit.  (both figures before proration)

The Isles were hoping to have the 2010-11 version of Visnovsky on the ice this season.  He was 6-21-27 in 68 games with the Ducks in 2011-12.  But, in 2010-11, Visnovsky went 18-50-68 in 81 games, and was on the ice for 146 of his team's goals -- the highest total in the NHL by a wide margin (13 more than Henrik Sedin).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out...
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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