The New York Islanders are continually among the worst in the league that is ran by an incompetent owner in an awful arena. And that’s without even getting into the fact that this team might not even exist 4 years from now. So it’s not difficult to discern why the Islanders have trouble bringing in quality players via free agency. In fact, when they claimed Evgeni Nabokov off of waivers after he came back from Europe to sign with the Red Wings, he opted instead to sit out the rest of the season rather than report to Uniondale.
The Islanders finally were able to add a legitimate defenseman in Lubomir Visnovsky this offseason when they sent a 2nd round draft pick to Anaheim in order to acquire him. He’s only two seasons removed for a 68 point season and is absolutely one of the better ofensive defensemen in the NHL. But, it seems, that Visnovsky will do anything he can to ensure he doesn’t have to play for the Islanders. Arthur Staple of Newsday is reporting that Visnovsky has filed a grievance through the NHLPA in an attempt to void the trade. Visnovsky had a No-Trade Clause in his contract when he was traded to Anaheim from the Oilers but he chose not to waive it. The question is, thus, whether Visnovsky’s No-Trade Clause is still in effect or not.
Regardless of the outcome, this is not a pretty situation for the Islanders. Either Visnovsky’s grievance is successful and he is returned to Anaheim or it falls through and the Islanders have a defenseman in the locker room that wants absolutely nothing to do with the team. It’s a mess for the Islanders, both from a hockey and PR standpoint. But then again, this is the Islanders; they are used to employing damage control.
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