Arbitrator Rules Lubomir Visnovsky Trade Valid
Photo credit: AP/Jae C. Hong
By: Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey)
It’s official. Lubomir Visnovsky will be a member of the New York Islanders when the 2012-13 NHL season begins.
An NHL arbitrator ruled Wednesday that trade that sent the defenseman to the Isles was valid. The NHL Players Association filed a grievance on behalf of Visnovsky to void the trade on the grounds that he had a no-trade clause in his contract and had to consent to being traded to the Islanders.
Visnovsky’s agent Neil Sheehy has said throughout the summer that the decision to file the grievance was not because Visnovsky didn’t want to be a member of the New York Islanders. The 36-year old did have a no trade clause in his contract prior to his time with the ducks.
“This was a CBA issue between the NHL and the NHLPA,” Sheehy told Newsday. “The language wasn’t clear, it’s clear now. The arbitrator made it clear.
Sheehy says that both Visnovsky and himself accept the ruling and confirmed that Visnovsky will be at Isles training camp when it opens. “Visnovsky is happy to be with the New York Islanders. It has nothing to do with NY Islanders,” he told WFAN.com’s BD Gallof.
There was some concern among fans and observers that Visnovsky’s decision to challenge the validity of the trade was because he did not want to play on Long Island. Previously high profile players such as Ryan Smyth and Christian Ehrhoff have spurred the Islanders for less money in other cities. And most recently Evgeni Nabakov refused to report to the team after being claimed on re-entry waivers.
For now, fans will have to take Visnovsky at his word.
As for the hockey side, Visnovsky will be a big part of the Islanders defense this upcoming season. His presence will help take off some pressure from Mark Striet and Travis Hamonic. He will also be big addition to the Isles power play, which Sheehy said would be the “best in the league.”