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KHL, NHL try to sort out Visnovsky's contract status

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TSN.ca Staff
1/15/2013 3:51:03 PM
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The status of defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky remains in limbo one day after his deadline to report to the New York Islanders passed.

Visnovsky reportedly remains with his KHL club, Slovan Bratislava, in his native Slovakia for what his agent calls "personal reasons'. He had until 10 am et on Monday to report to the Islanders' training camp.

The Islanders confirmed to the New York Times that they have neither suspended Visnovsky nor given their consent for him to stay in Slovakia.

The 36-year-old defenceman accompanied his KHL club to a game in Prague on Tuesday but did not play for the team.

Visnovsky's agent, Neil Sheehy, told the New York Times that "Lubo has personal reasons for not reporting to the Islanders right now, all of which have absolutely nothing to do with the New York Islanders."

The 11-year NHL veteran released a statement last week through Sheehy that said that he would be staying in the KHL for the rest of the season.

However, the KHL and NHL have an agreement on honouring contracts that prevents players with existing deals in one league from playing in the other.

On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported that the KHL had turned down Visnovsky's request to extend his KHL contract to the end of the season.

ESPN reported that the KHL and NHL may negotiate on the matter.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Times on Monday that, "we had further contact with the KHL (on Monday), and they continue to assert that Visnovsky will be ineligible to play in KHL games without the Islanders' consent."

KHL head spokesman Ilya Kochevrin told the Times that the matter "will be decided (on Tuesday)."

According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, if the KHL upholds the pact and rules Visnovsky ineligible, he would likely return to the Islanders.

Visnovsky was traded from the Anaheim Ducks to the Islanders on June 22 last year, and originally didn't report to the team then, either. He cited a no-trade clause in his contract, but eventually an arbitrator ruled in favour of the Islanders.

Visnovsky is scheduled to make $3 million this season with a cap hit of $5.6 million. The veteran of 752 NHL contests has also played for the Kings and Oilers in addition to the Ducks.

Lubomir Visnovsky (Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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