The Islanders are having a hell of a time getting their hands on off-season acquisition and former Duck Lubomir Visnovsky. The saga has become a damn comedy at this point, with the potential for more absurd hilarity to come. In case you haven't been paying attention, here's a brief timeline. Click on the dates for relevant articles:
- June 22, 2012 - On draft day, Visnovsky learns that Anaheim has traded him to New York for a 2nd round draft pick in 2013.
- July 23, 2012 - One month later, Visnovsky finds out that when they told him "New York," they didn't mean the Rangers. Visnovsky files a grievance with the NHL to block the trade, stating he probably has a No-Trade Clause in his contract, somewhere. Probably towards the back; the small print.
- Aug 14, 2012 - Not feeling confident in the probability of the grievance going his way, Visnovsky attempts (but is fortunately unsuccessful at) committing suicide while driving a Ferrari.
- Sep 4, 2012 - Visnovsky, having averted death, finally gets to plead his case in front of an arbitrator.
- Sep 12, 2012 - The arbitrator rules against Vis, and his grievance is denied. He must remain an Islander.
- Sep 17, 2012 - Two days after the NHL lockout begins, Visnovsky rejoices, signs with KHL team HC Slovan Bratislava.
- Jan 7, 2013 - One day after a tentative agreement to end the lockout is reached, Visnovsky is bummed and word comes that he wants to stay in the KHL.
- Jan 9, 2013 - The Isles hurt Lubo's feelings.
- Jan 12, 2013 - Islanders book a flight to get Visnovsky to New York for training camp, but Visnovsky does not board that flight.
- Jan 13, 2013 - Word comes that Vis is still travelling with his KHL team. A picture surfaces of the elusive Lubo on the team bus.
- Jan 14, 2013 - Visnovsky's agent informs us that Lubomir will miss camp, citing personal/family reasons.
And that brings us to today! If you'd like to continue to follow the unfolding Lubomir saga, Lighthouse Hockey is doing a good job of keeping an eye on it all.
A lot of Ducks fans criticized the paltry return Anaheim got from the Islanders when the trade was announced, but it makes you wonder if the Ducks saw the writing on the wall with Visnovsky. Was the aging defenseman likely to bail on the NHL all along, and the Ducks were grasping at anything they could get for him before he left? Or was it simply the prospect of playing on Long Island that did him in and started the process of his self-exile?
Either way, I'm glad it's not Anaheim struggling with the drama.