Uniondale, NY – Lubomir Visnovsky and the New York Islanders have finally ended an extended standoff, with the team lifting the veteran defenseman's suspension after he reported to the club's facility on Thursday.
Visnovsky, acquired by the Isles in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks in June, had been playing in the Kontinental Hockey League during the NHL lockout and intended to remain with his Slovan Bratislava team for the remainder of the 2012-13 season. The NHL and KHL have an agreement in place, however, that states that any player under contract in North America had to return once the work stoppage had ended.
The Islanders immediately suspended Visnovsky, who finally arrived in the United States on Wednesday night and passed a team physical on Thursday. He was reinstated to the active roster and could play as soon as New York's home date against Buffalo on Saturday.
Visnovsky and the Islanders had been at odds since the summer, with the 11- year NHL veteran filing a grievance with the NHLPA following his trade from the Ducks in an effort to have the deal voided based on a no-trade clause within his contract. An arbitrator ruled in the Isles' favor because Visnovsky had previously used the clause to accept a trade to Anaheim from Edmonton in 2010.
The Slovakia native had 18 goals and a career-best 68 points with the Ducks in 2010-11 and has accumulated 117 goals and 450 points over 771 career NHL games.