New York Hockey: Lubomir Visnovsky

Visnovsky placed on IR

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
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The Islanders will be without Lubomir Visnovsky for at least a week, as the team placed the veteran defenseman on injured reserve with a concussion retroactive to October 19.

The 37-year-old blue-liner was injured by an incidental hit to the head during the first period of the team's 4-3 loss to Carolina on Saturday.

The team also announced the recall of Brock Nelson after loaning him to play for Bridgeport (AHL) Sunday.

Visnovsky injured in Isles loss

October, 20, 2013
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If another demoralizing defeat -- this time a 4-3 loss to Carolina -- wasn't enough, the Islanders lost veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a concussion Saturday night.

The 37-year-old Visnovsky, a key veteran presence to the team's blue line, took an accidental blow to the head and had to be helped off the ice during the first period of play. He will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

"To lose a guy that logs 20-plus minutes, that hurts you," Capuano said, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple.

Visnovsky, who averaged over 22 minutes per game for the Islanders, could require a stint on injured reserve. If he is expected to miss significant time, the team could look to unsigned free agent Radek Martinek. Martinek, who has played for the Isles in multiple tours, joined the team in camp on a professional tryout though he does not have a contract.

In other news, the Islanders sent Brock Nelson down to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, though it is not immediately clear how long the assignment will last.

Isles in playoff mix

April, 3, 2013
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With a 5-2 win over Winnipeg Tuesday night, the Islanders pushed the Rangers out of the immediate playoff mix and passed their division rivals to claim the eighth spot.

Both the Islanders and the seventh-place Devils have 39 points, though New Jersey has a game in hand. The Rangers, two points back, have two games in hand including Wednesday's match against the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Islanders' recent surge -- five wins in the last six games -- has put general manager Garth Snow in position to be a buyer for Wednesday's trade deadline.

Snow has done it before, back in 2007 when he acquired Ryan Smyth as a trade deadline rental, and will likely try to add again with his team pushing for their first playoff appearance in six years.

Last Friday, Snow signed veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a two-year contract extension worth $9.5 million, although he has not been able to lock up captain Mark Streit.

Contract talks between Streit's camp and Snow yielded no progress, even though the two sides are not believed to be far apart. As reported Tuesday, Streit is seeking a multi-year deal with an average annual value worth more than what Visnovsky received ($4.75M).

However, that does not mean Streit will be dealt. In fact, the 35-year-old defenseman was informed Tuesday by Snow that he will not be traded.

Visnovsky out for personal reasons

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
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Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is out for personal reasons for Tuesday's match against the Montreal Canadiens, according to a team spokesperson.

The 36-year-old veteran has one goal and five assists in 12 games for the Islanders, though he was a late arrival this season.

Visnovsky tried petitioning the KHL, where he played during the lockout, to let him remain with his club, Slovan Bratislava, once the lockout ended. Visnovsky cited personal reasons (believed to be a health issue with a family member) in an attempt to stay back in his native Slovakia. That request was rejected; the KHL and NHL have a Memorandum of Agreement that all players with NHL contracts must return to the NHL once the lockout is lifted.

Since joining the Isles, Visnovsky has been a productive member on their back end, averaging 23:05 of ice time per game.

Visnovsky arrives, passes medical

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
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Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has arrived in the U.S. and appears set to finally join the team. The 36-year-old veteran was suspended by the team earlier this season for refusing to come back to the NHL after the lockout was lifted.

According to an Islanders spokesperson, Visnovsky passed his medical Thursday morning and is slated to practice with the team Friday.

Visnovsky could be in the lineup as earlier as Saturday, when the Islanders host the Sabres at the Nassau Coliseum.

Coach Jack Capuano also indicated that Josh Bailey (knee) is likely to play this weekend as well.

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov first off the ice this morning, so expect him to face Henrik Lundqvist in net at Madison Square Garden.

Matt Carkner is out with a lower-body injury that has him listed as day-to-day.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Isles

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
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At a glance: A bitter rivalry resumes Thursday at Madison Square Garden as the Rangers and Islanders square off in the first of four meetings this season. After a strong start to 2013, the Islanders have dropped two straight while the Rangers are coming off a tough loss against the New Jersey Devils. Only one point separates the two clubs in the standings (Islanders, 4-4-1, 9 points; Rangers 4-5-0, 8 points) and, as always, New York bragging rights are on the line.

Power outage: An 0-for-5 performance in Tuesday’s loss to the Devils leaves the Rangers a dreadful 3-for-35 this season on the power play. The team currently ranks dead last in the league with a paltry 8.6 percent success rate. They’ll face one of the best penalty-killing units as well. The Islanders have surrendered only three power-play goals in nine games, fourth in the league at 90.3 percent.

Big minutes: Star center John Tavares currently ranks second among all NHL forwards with an average of 22:00 minutes per game. Logging those big minutes, Tavares, 22, leads the Isles in scoring with four goals and seven assists through nine games. The former first overall pick has been centering a line with Matt Moulson and Brad Boyes.

Captain Comeback?: It remains a possibility that Rangers captain Ryan Callahan could return from shoulder injury Thursday night. The 27-year-old winger sustained a "subluxation" last Tuesday but has practiced without limitations this week. Assuming he gets cleared for contact, Callahan may get the green light.

Down on D: It is not clear whether Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will be available for Thursday’s game. The 28-year-old blue-liner was scratched Thursday night for only the third time in four-plus seasons. According to the Rangers, Girardi is “banged up.” Coach John Tortorella did not provide an update Wednesday, but Girardi did not participate in the team’s optional practice.

Late arrival: According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky arrived in the U.S. Wednesday and is due to undergo an physical on Thursday, leaving open the possibility that he could play Saturday against the Sabres. The 36-year-old veteran was suspended by the team earlier this season for failing to report back from the KHL after the lockout was lifted.

Miller time: Rangers prospect J.T. Miller made a strong showing in his first ever NHL game against the Devils on Tuesday. The 19-year-old forward was one of the few bright spots in the team’s 3-1 loss. Although he started on the fourth line, he earned more ice time as the game possessed and finished as one of the team’s top performers. The Rangers have four more games, including Thursday’s match against the Islanders, until they are forced to make a decision on whether to keep him up with the big club or send him back to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.

Still on the mend: It appears Islanders forward Josh Bailey (knee) is unlikely to be available until the weekend.

Visnovsky headed to Long Island

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
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Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who was suspended for not reporting to the Islanders once the lockout was lifted, is headed to Long Island this week. His agent, Neil Sheehy, confirmed the news via Twitter on Monday.

The 36-year-old Visnovsky, who was acquired in a trade with Anaheim this summer, played overseas in the Kontinental Hockey League for team Slovan Bratislava during the lockout but refused to return Stateside once the work stoppage ended.

Because the NHL and KHL have a Memorandum of Agreement that a player must return to the NHL and honor his contract once the lockout ends, the Islanders suspended Visnovsky for his failure to report. He appealed to the KHL, citing family and personal reasons, but was denied.

Isles claim Finley

January, 14, 2013
1/14/13
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In wake of the Lubomir Visnovsky debacle, which is growing more nebulous by the day, the Islanders have claimed defenseman Joe Finley off waivers from Buffalo, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com

The hulking 25-year-old Finley (6-8, 247) provides the team another depth defenseman for training camp in the absence of Visnovsky, who remains in the KHL despite his contractual obligation with the Isles.

Finley, a former first-round pick by the Washington Capitals in 2005, had one goal, 4 assists and 81 PIM in 36 games with the AHL's Rochester Americans this season.

Isles bulk up on first day of free agency

July, 1, 2012
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Much like their bitter rivals, the New York Rangers, the Islanders added size and grit on Day 1 of free agency.

The Isles inked three players -- forwards Brad Boyes and Eric Boulton and defenseman Matt Carkner -- that bring physicality to a squad that has missed the playoffs for five straight years.

The team's first signed 30-year-old forward Brad Boyes to a one-year deal that, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com, is owrth $1 million.

The one-time 40-goal scorer played the last two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. In 2011-12, he recorded 8 goals and 15 assists in 65 games.

General Manager Garth Snow followed up the Boyes signing by landing tough guy defenseman Matt Carkner, who finished with 54 penalty minutes in 33 games with the Senators this past season. Carkner agreed to terms on a three-year, $4.5 million deal, according to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun.

The Isles added more toughness later in the afternoon with former Devils enforcer Eric Boulton. According to ESPN.com's Craig Custance, Boulton signed a one-year deal and sounded excited about the new opportunity.

"It's a promising young team."

The Islanders got a head start this off-season with their draft-day acquisition of veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. The Isles acquired him via trade with Anaheim in exchange for a second-round pick in 2013.

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