Moscow, Russia – The Kontinental Hockey League made its feeling on the Lubomir Visnovsky situation known with a statement issued on Tuesday.
"In September of 2012 the League introduced an amendment to its regulations governing the signing by KHL clubs of players currently under contract to NHL clubs in the event of a lockout, and the amendment stipulates that the locked out players' contracts must contain a clause allowing immediate unilateral termination when the NHL lockout is resolved, and the players are to return to North America to fulfil their obligations to their respective clubs.
"Of the 43 players from the NHL who as a result of the lockout signed contracts to play in the KHL Championship, 42 have returned to North America to train for the forthcoming NHL campaign. However, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who spent the lockout at Slovan Bratislava and is currently under contract with the New York Islanders, has announced that he plans to continue playing in the KHL. 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."
Just days before the commencement of the 119-day standoff, an arbitrator ruled that the 36-year-old blueliner should remain with the New York Islanders after upholding an offseason trade with Anaheim.
The Islanders sent a second-round pick in the 2013 draft to the Ducks in exchange for Visnovsky on June 22. A month later, Visnovsky filed a grievance with the NHLPA to void the deal based on a no-trade clause within his contract. He had waived the clause when the Ducks acquired him from Edmonton in 2010.
However, the 2013 season is covered by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Russian and North American entities, which contains a clause stating that players under contract with a club from one league cannot fulfill any obligation to a club from the other league during the term of that player's contract.
The result is, pending an appeals process, Visnovsky cannot return to play for Slovan this season if he does not choose to return to Long Island to fulfill his NHL contract.