Lubomir Visnovsky - Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Lubomir Visnovsky's Grievance - Legitimate Beef, or Sour Grapes?

Imagine how he’d help Edmonton’s blue line today. He’d be an immediate upgrade.

Lubomir Visnovsky was a pretty good Oiler. We lost a pretty good Oiler when the club went ahead and dealt Visnovsky to the Anaheim Ducks for current Oiler Ryan Whitney back at the deadline in 2010. While I still believe that Visnovsky was the better player in the deal, Whitney was no slouch (and was significantly younger, as the whole ‘rebuild’ mantra was very popular at the time).

Where was I?

Oh, yes.

Fast forward to this past June, when the Ducks went ahead and sent then-35 (now 36) Visnovsky to the New York Islanders for a second round pick.  My initial reaction thought that a second round pick was a pretty good deal for the Islanders.  (This is the same Islanders club that wanted to trade every one of their 2012 picks for the number two pick in the 2012 draft?)  Visnovsky’s cap hit was 5.6M (allowing the Islanders to get that much closer to the salary floor) but his actual salary was just $3M.  Savvy little move, Isles.

It took about a month, but Lubomir Visnovsky wasn’t having any of this.  Visnovsky’s agent filed a grievance, stating that the Ducks didn’t honour his no-trade clause.  Come again?

Is Visnovsky angry about being traded to the Islanders, or is he angry because he didn’t authorize this trade?

Is his NTC still valid?

BACK UP

Visnovsky signed a long term deal while a member of the Los Angeles Kings back in 2007.  He got dealt to the Oilers in 2008 just one day before his NTC kicked in.  Forward to the 2010 trade deadline, and this happens.

Listen to Visnovsky in the first sentence.  He says that “going back to California…for my family, is best choice“.  The use of the word ‘choice’ sounds like Visnovsky made…well, a choice to move on to Anaheim.  I’m not 100% certain if Visnovsky wanted out first, or if Oiler Brass came to him and suggested a trade, but it appears to me that his NTC was waived specifically for this circumstance.

In 2011, he gave an interview to the Orange County Register where he says that he wasn’t happy playing for Edmonton, further making my argument that he was the one who started the movement process.

And why did it take him a month to get up in arms about being dealt to the Islanders?  Did he think he was dealt to the Predators instead?

I believe this trade will come down to whether or not either Anaheim or Visnovsky can prove that the NTC was continued (or discontinued) after he was acquired from the Oilers.  Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy gets to the heart of the matter by locating it in the CBA (section 11.8):

  • “If the Player is Traded or claimed on Waivers prior to the no-Trade or no-move clause taking effect, the clause does not bind the acquiring Club. An acquiring Club may agree to continue to be bound by the no-Trade or no-move clause, which agreement shall be evidenced in writing to the Player, Central Registry and the NHLPA, in accordance with Exhibit 3 hereof.”

Unless Visnovsky has it written down somewhere that his NTC was still in effect after coming over from the Oilers, I have a feeling that an arbitrator will find for the League in this one

Does Visnovsky have a legit gripe?  Or, is he just upset he got dealt to the Islanders?

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Edmonton Oilers Lubomir Visnovsky New York Islanders

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