Lubomir Visnovsky Represents Everything Garth Snow Does Right, And Everything Wrong With How The World Perceives The Organization
A few weeks ago, the Islanders traded for Lubomir Visnovsky. The Islanders got him on the phone at the draft party while most of Islanders fans were ecstatic about the trade for a legitimate top-4 defenseman. Garth Snow kept his promise. Garth went out and got his man.
During this phone call, Lubomir seemed excited to bring his talents to Long Island. He was excited about playing for a young team, and he was excited about playing on the same defensive unit as Islanders Captain, Mark Streit.
Turns out Lubomir was sleep-talking from his home-country Slovakia, where the Islanders woke him up at 3 AM to inform him of the news. On Monday, it was announced that Lubomir Visnovsky had filed a grievance through the NHLPA in order to block his trade to the New York Islanders, claiming his no-trade clause is still valid. That’s frustrating.
Now what? The Islanders appear to be getting disrespected by another NHL veteran whose rights were acquired fairly. Yes, Islanders fans. Garth Snow made a legitimate move to HELP the team, yet the Islanders, who so desperately need some veteran help (not washed-up), cannot seem to catch a break. Every time the Islanders extend their hand to bring someone in, the players act as if the Island would be the worst place to lace up their skates. Evgeni Nabokov was forced onto the Island (although he now loves it here), Christian Ehrhoff wouldn’t come anywhere near here, Brian Rolston came to simply collect his paycheck, and other free agents, such as Paul Martin, wouldn’t play here, even for the money.
Now, Lubomir doesn’t want to play here either, which he hinted at the right after he was traded to the Island. In a Slovakian interview, Visnovsky stated that he might stay in Europe, or take a contract with the KHL. He stated that he needed to do what was best for him and his family, regardless of it would upset the Islanders. This was thought to be resolved when Arthur Staple contacted him and got the response, “My first choice is to play for the New York Islanders.”
Well, Visnovsky lied, and now Islanders fans have to feel burned again. The Islanders, who are obviously unhappy, will be waiting to see what comes out of an arbitration ruling between Visnovsky and the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks, who are opposing Lubomir’s grievance, will hope that Visnovsky stays far away from Anaheim.
Lubomir claims that his no-trade clause is still void, but the issue is that his clause was not invoked in his trade from Edmonton to Anaheim in 2010. The arbitrator will determine whether or not the no-trade clause can still be in effect after he already allowed himself to be traded once.
If the arbitrator rules that the Visnovsky still had a no-trade clause, he will be in Anaheim. If the arbitrator rules in favor of the Ducks, saying his no-trade clause could no longer be invoked, Visnovsky will be an Islander. Well, Isles fans. We could be in for another awkward moment.
Honestly, like I felt with Nabby, I would want no part of him. Granted, he could come here, do right, and make amends with the fans, but 9 out of 10 times, disgruntled players are disgruntled players. Although players tend to fall in love with Long Island, Visnovsky may have torched his relationship with the Islanders. Garth Snow doesn’t take crap from his guys, so it will be interesting to see where this goes.
Obviously, Lubomir Visnovsky makes the Islanders D look better on paper, but I think that, even without him, the Islanders D is still better than what they had lat season. I also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Snow flipping that draft choice for another guy, or going out to sign someone else. The Islanders will be fine, but it’s a shame this kind of thing is a reoccurrence on Long Island.
About the Author: Writes at Islanders Op-Timism. Islanders Season Ticket Holder who tends to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hofstra Graduate currently working at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates. I definitely want to end up working within the world of hockey. Blog: www.IslandersOptimism.com E-Mail: ChristopherTriantafilis@gmail.com Twitter: @ChrisTriants