Earlier in the offseason, Lubomir Visnovsky said he’d like to play next season – and preferably do so with the New York Islanders – if his injury-ravaged frame would allow it. After a couple of months, he seems a lot more confident about his ambitions.
Visnovsky’s agent Neil Sheehy said that he’ll “definitely” play during the 2015-16 season (and also reiterated his interest in sticking with the Islanders), according to New York Newsday’s Stephen C. Lorenzo.
At first glance, one wonders why the Islanders would be all that interested in having him return.
He’s suffered from lousy injury luck basically during his entire NHL career, and it’s difficult to imagine his body holding up any better at his age (he’s turning 39 in August).
“Lubo” was limited to 53 regular season games in 2014-15. Many will remember his campaign for how it ended, as he was on the receiving end of a savage hit by Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson:
It’s a more appealing thought if both sides keep expectations in check, though.
While the Islanders seem like they’re poised to take advantage of other contenders’ salary cap woes a year after poaching Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, Lighthouse Hockey rightly points out that GM Garth Snow must consider the young players set for raises after the 2015-16 season expires.
Visnovsky’s offensive skills could still be of use to the Islanders, especially on the power play … and especially at the right price.
If the Slovak defenseman is expecting anything close to the $4.75 million cap hit (and even larger salary in 2014-15) from his last contract, he’s listening to the wrong advice. However, one could imagine him getting a decent enough deal, especially if he settles for one year.
“The Silver Fox” isn’t the dynamic asset he once was, but he might be just the right fit for the Islanders.
(It’s kind of strange pondering Visnovsky courting the Islanders considering how much he initially resisted joining the team though, isn’t it?)