KHL weighs in on Lubomir Visnovsky
Former Duck Lubomir Visnovsky is holding out for the chance to continue playing in the KHL. (REUTERS)
New York Islanders defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky is the only NHLer not to have returned to North America ahead of Saturday's opening to the league's shortened season.
Visnovsky, who was traded to the Isles from the Anaheim Ducks last summer, has requested to continue playing with the KHL's HC Slovan Bratislava.
"(Visnovsky) plans to continue playing in (Europe)," the KHL said in a statement. "Mr. Visnovsky and HC Slovan Bratislava have submitted a request to the League asking that the player be permitted to sign a contract with Slovan until the end of the 2012-13 season, citing the player's complex personal circumstances and his desire to continue his career in his homeland."
A few days before the NHL's labour woes kicked up in September, an arbitrator upheld Visnovsky's trade to the Islanders after the blueliner filed a grievance, claiming the move was in violation of a trade clause he agreed to waive when he was sent to Anaheim from the Edmonton Oilers in 2010.
In any case, the 2013 season is covered by a Memorandum of Understanding that both leagues agreed to, making it clear that a player under contract in one league cannot appear for a club in the other.
Pending an appeal, Visnovsky cannot return to play for Slovan this season if he does not choose to return to Long Island to fulfill his NHL contract.