"He's under contract with the Islanders and he should be here," Garth Snow told the assembled media yesterday. The 'he', of course, is Lubomir Visnovsky the staying/going/not coming defenseman of the Islanders and, more recently, HC Slovan. Visnovsky has until 10am today to report to the Island or be suspended. By the looks of it, he's not coming and we'll have
an international incident to wait and see what the next steps are. If the KHL doesn't enforce the memorandum, this may end up in court. We'll have to wait and see.
Coach Capuano was focused on the players in front of him at training camp saying; "I know there’s been a lot of talk but we have to focus on the players that are here right now... There’s some work that we’re gonna have to talk about on our backend. That’s a conversation that we’re gonna have going forward."
In other areas, it seems as though it could be something that could become a distraction the longer these things go on and the more us media folks keeping talking about him. Matt Martin told Arthur Staple that it was bothersome:
[sny-box color=E6F1FF]"It bothers us, because the guys on this team love it here and guys who get traded or sign here end up loving it too," Matt Martin said. "This is just hanging around the team when we need to be totally focused and ready for a quick start to the season."[/sny-box]
It's not so much that Visnovsky doesn't love it here, it's more that he really loves home.
Something to keep an eye on, maybe, is that HC Slovan's next game is Tuesday.
WHERE'S NINO?That's probably the question that was asked the most yesterday after training camp rosters were announced. Missing were Nino Niederreiter, Bridgeport's leading scorer, and Matt Donovan, their leading defenseman.
By the looks of it, the Islanders are more content to go with the older and more experienced Ty Wishart and Jon Landry instead of Donovan. As for Nino, after a year of all of us questioning if he was really ready for the NHL, it sounds like he's going to get a year of the AHL.
"Nino's been great in Bridgeport," Snow said during his media availability. "It's an opportunity for him to play different roles, power play, penalty kill, play twenty minutes. It's more conducive for him to be there at this point in time."
By Snow's comments you get the sense that Nino would have a reduced role if on the Island this year. If that's the case, I would say giving him huge minutes in Bridgeport where he's the best player on the team is the way to go. Both of these non-callups, of course, could change depending on how injuries play out.
Speaking of Nino and Donovan, they factored heavily into Bridgeport's 5-4 win yesterday. Donovan had the game winner while Niederreiter had two goals to move into 6th in the AHL scoring race.
GRABNER GOOD TO GO, THEN NOT, THEN OK YEAH, HE'S GOOD TO GO... IS EVERYONE SUFFICIENTLY CONFUSED?When I spoke with Michael Grabner Friday, he said that he was ready for the season and skated with the team in full. That's why it came as a bit of a surprise when he didn't head out for the first day of camp yesterday. He would eventually get on the ice and finish out practice, having to undergo extra tests for those injured abs. Could be something to keep an eye on.
THE NEW YORK POST COULDN'T BE BOTHERED......to find a different Islanders logo.
Radek Martinek's deal is worth $600k plus $150k performance bonus for games played. The bonus doesn't count against the cap as per the new cap rules... Corey Pronman has his mid-season prospect ranking with three Islanders making the list... And finally VSV's tribute to Grabner set to, you know, Alanis Morissette...