Trade Bait: Lubomir Visnovsky


The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3. Following is a player that may be moved. For more “Trade Bait,” click here.

Considering the fact that it wasn’t clear that Lubomir Visnovsky would even play this season, it’s surprising that the New York Islanders defenseman faces an interesting set of options as the trade deadline approaches.

On one hand, he could follow Evgeni Nabokov’s path of resistance followed by acceptance of the Islanders by signing a contract extension. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Isles GM Garth Snow reached out to at least have that discussion.

There aren’t specific rumors about Visnovsky’s services, but there’s plenty of logic to landing the 36-year-old defenseman. names the Detroit Red Wings as one team that could use the offensively gifted blueliner.

It’s hard to imagine Ryan Whitney drawing more attention than Visnovsky, for one thing.

While Visnovsky’s Islanders numbers are modest (nine points in 21 games), the Slovakian has seasons of 58, 67 and 68 points on his resume (with the last coming in 2010-11 with Anaheim).

He brings plenty of appeal as a rental; while his cap hit is $5.6 million, it covers a salary of just $3 million this season. That contract expires this summer, so he’ll feel plenty motivated to put up numbers – whether it’s with the Islanders or not.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.