Lubomir Visnovsky staying in Russia

Updated: January 14, 2013, 12:05 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is planning to stay in Europe rather than return to the NHL and play for the New York Islanders, his agent confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

The 36-year-old, who was acquired by the Islanders via trade this summer, will remain in the Kontinental Hockey League with Bratislava Slovan for family and personal reasons.

"I have decided to stay and continue my career in the KHL for the remainder of the 2012-13 season," Visnovsky said in a statement, via agent Neil Sheehy. "I am thankful to the New York Islanders for being so good to me. My decision not to play in the NHL is due to family and personal reasons. I have made no decisions on next season. My focus now is on Slovan Bratislava, and enjoying my family in my home country."

The NHL and KHL currently have an agreement that all players under NHL contract are obligated to return once the lockout ends. The NHL and NHLPA reached a tentative agreement Sunday morning and hope to have a deal ratified by this weekend.

It is believed Islanders general manager Garth Snow will reach out to Visnovsky to try and convince him to return to the NHL.

Visnovsky filed a grievance with the NHLPA earlier this summer to try and void his trade to the Islanders, claiming his no-trade clause that he waived when traded from Edmonton should have been honored. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the Islanders in September.

The Islanders are waiting for a decision from the league on the current matter and would not comment.

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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