NHL and KHL Say They Will Honor Each Other’s Contracts
We may have to wait a little longer to figure out what exactly will become of Lubomir Visnovsky and the year remaining on his NHL contract. Yesterday, Visnovsky said that he intended to remain in Slovakia, playing for his KHL team. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is that both the NHL and KHL have said publicly that they will honor their agreement, the Memorandum of Understanding, that says they will respect each other’s contracts.
Katie Strang tweeted this earlier today on the NHL’s position:
#CBA Via email, Bill Daly said KHL has confirmed they honor agreement with NHL that NHL player cannot play there once lockout lifted
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) January 8, 2013
And Dmitry Chesnokov got a similar statement from the KHL:
The KHL also confirmed they stay by/honor their agreement with the NHL (respecting each other’s contracts).
— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) January 8, 2013
Whether or not the KHL and NHL intend to move forward with enforcing this is an entirely different story. The KHL could bar Visnovsky from playing for Slovan, or they could idly watch as he continues to play. It wouldn’t seem to make sense for the KHL to start a fight over an older player like Visnovsky with little time on his NHL deal (Ilya Kovalchuk, however, different story). Visnovsky’s team plays a home game at 1pm ET today against Traktor Čeľabinsk. Visnovsky is in the lineup but since the lockout isn’t technically over, we can’t take this as a sign of the KHL’s stance on him.