THE MORNING SKATE — Compliance Buyouts and Interpreting Visnovsky’s Agent

Kevin Schultz

As part of the new deal between the League and the Players, teams will have the opportunity to buyout two uninjured players this summer. But for whatever reason, teams couldn’t buy anyone out right now. So what’s a team with Wade Redden or Scott Gomez on it to do? Why pay them to sit at home and not get injured of course. That’s just what the Rangers and Canadiens have been doing with Redden and Gomez. That is, until this weekend.

In a disturbingly fast amount of time (considering how long it took to end the lockout) the League and Players agreed to allow teams to use one of their compliance buyouts this season. As as of Saturday teams can put players making $3 million or more through waivers — basically a formality — and then will be free to buy them out after which the player can sign for another team or accept a minor league assignment. There’s not much benefit for the team to do this. They’ll still be dealing with the player’s full cap hit all year. It’s more of a way to allow the players to find an employer who wants them.

All that being said, it’s not likely that Rick DiPietro would get bought out via this method. The Islanders could use a second goalie on the bench, as sitting Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson behind Nabokov for the year does those players no good. Also, in this special buyout period, the player has to agree to it. Rick DiPietro still wants to play and doesn’t seem to mind doing it in an Islanders uniform.

Oh and to answer the questions about whether the Islanders should grab Gomez. No team in their right mind should grab Gomez off waivers. They’ll be on the hook for that entire ugly contract. Wait till all 30 teams pass on him and then try to sign him at a discount. I still would rather have that roster spot saved for a young player but if I was going to grab Gomez, that’s how I would do it.


That tweet came out last night at about 10pm from Neil Sheehy, Lubomir Visnovsky’s agent. So, do we interpret this as Visnovsky will report after he finishes tending to “personal reasons?” Or, has he finished tending to “personal reasons” and will now report? A lovely semantics debate. And furthermore, why is Visnovsky on a team bus to Prague if he’s got said personal issues?

Either way, it’s getting to seem like Visnovsky has exhausted his options and will be here at some point. If this truly is the end, then it seems the KHL barring him from yesterday’s game was the final straw.

One guy who knows a thing or two about the Kings farm system is Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin. Pellerin spent six years in Manchester as a Monarchs assistant coach. Three of those years were spent coaching Hickey. CT Post’s Mike Fornabaio has the coach’s thoughts:

“He’s really strong positionally,” said Scott Pellerin, assistant at Manchester for Hickey’s first three pro seasons. “He’s got really good hockey sense. He moves the puck well, the first pass. He just brings — I wouldn’t say he’s overly offensive, but he’s the kind of guy who can play all situations.”

Pellerin said he’s a good guy, does good work in the community, a leader. That reminded me that the Monarchs put a letter on him in his second pro season.

“He somebody who’s got very good hockey IQ,” Pellerin said. “He picks things up, what other teams are doing, from the bench. He has those communication skills with his teammates. We relied on him to be a leader on the team.”

That’s what Dee Karl quoted Rick DiPietro as saying about the shortened season. Here, look:

The lack of games played during the lockout for many players isn’t going to help goalies out at all. “With only 48 games, you’re just going to let it all hang out. The schedule is going to be grueling, but you just have to go balls to the wall for all 48 and see what happens.”

Forget ‘Orange, Blue and You.’ New motto for the 2013 New York Islanders: Balls to the Wall.

ALSO: Here’s the full television schedule… Mark Streit looking to turn things around this season; “I feel way better now after playing a few games back home. I don’t think about the shoulder anymore”… And here’s Bob McKenzie’s Isles season preview: