Lubomir Visnovsky isn’t hanging up the skates just yet.
His agent — Neil Sheehy — said Visnovsky, who turns 39 in August, will “definitely” play next season. (Lorenzo, Jun 23)
“He really likes Isles, for sure,” Sheehy said, when asked about potential landing spots for Visnovsky.
In 53 games played, Visnovsky had five goals and 15 assists. One quarter of his points came on the power play.
The Islanders could do a lot worse than Visnovsky as a seventh defenseman, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see Garth Snow
bring back Lubo on a very reasonable, one-year deal. That would be fine with me. Visnovsky and Thomas Hickey
— who will most likely round out the Isles’ third pairing — have a great chemistry together. Plus, the Islanders could use the production on the power play, and if Lubo isn’t depended on for more than 40 games or so, I’m sure he could stay healthy and productive through a long playoff run.
I know it’s tempting to cast off some of the supplementary pieces while eyeing a free agent defenseman like Paul Martin. But signing Visnovsky to a low-cost deal wouldn’t prohibit the Islanders from making a run at a guy like him (at least not financially), and would give them plenty of depth in case of an injury or if the younger prospects struggle to find their legs early in the season. It’s far from a sure thing that he’ll be back, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
The upper limit of the NHL salary cap will be $71.4 million for the 2015-16 season (NHLPA).
The Islanders will have $15,787,024 in cap space.
The salary floor will be $52.8 million.
Rumors continue to swirl about whether or not the Islanders will part ways with Kyle Okposo.
Darren Dreger appeared on TSN690 Montreal on Tuesday morning and said that the Islanders aren’t “really shopping” Okposo, but “he is available.”
It was reported earlier in the week that the Islanders’ winger was on the trade block.
“Then we get into semantics, on the trade block sounds like they are trying to push him out,” Dreger said, “but available is a more user-friendly way if you are the Isles brass of maybe saying that you want to make some changes, looking at some contract concerns that we may have in the future, young players are developing quicker than we thought who could absorb his role.”
Seeing how much of a role Okposo has had with the team the last few years, Dreger was surprised to hear his name come up in trade rumors.
“This is in the category of we aren’t really shopping him, per se, but he is available,” Dreger continued. “That is the message we are getting from the Isles cautiously and from GMs around the league. It’s a surprising name because of how impactful Okposo can be and has been for the Isles.”
The Islanders’ return on a possible Okposo deal would have to be pretty substantial, according to Dreger. To read more of this story, click here
Kyle Okposo might be on the trade block, and if he is moved, it could be because of a less-than-stellar playoff series against Washington.
Pierre McGuire appeared on TSN690 in Montreal on Monday and said that the Islanders were frustrated with the way Okposo played in the team’s first round defeat.
“They were not happy with his playoff against the Capitals, and I heard that around the league and I heard that covering six of the seven games. They moved him around their lineup, they were getting frustrated with his performance. I don’t know that for sure, but I am just telling you what was pretty apparent. But I’m not surprised his name is out there. I think that it’s one of those where if they were able to hit the motherload and get a player that they like who might be cheaper, or a draft pick that they like that would fill in a hole, could be the way they go.”
McGuire said that, despite a quiet series, he didn’t see Okposo as playing tentative after his eye injury.
“His best game was Game 3, and he delivered some huge, huge hits and he was really good in that game.”
Okposo had two goals and an assist in the postseason.
The Isles scored just 15 goals in the seven game series against Washington, so it’s not like there’s not enough blame to go around for the lack of offense. But maybe that’s part of the team’s reported frustration. Maybe, before they commit major dollars to Okposo long term, they might want to feel like he’s the kind of difference maker that can take over a series when an opponent clamps down on John Tavares.
I’m sure the Islanders would listen to offers, but I’d still be surprised to see Okposo get moved. He has a long history with the organization, he enjoys playing here, and he’s still just 27. I think Garth would have to be bowled over by an offer to pull the trigger, but you never know. Things can get crazy this time of year.
The Islanders have announced their preseason schedule, with the slate getting underway with split-squad games against the Flyers on Sept. 21 (June 22, 3:00 pm).
Of the eight games the Isles will play during the preseason, three will take place at the Barclays Center.
Here’s the full preseason schedule:
I’m surprised that three dates at Barclays Center (which are weekdays) have 7 p.m. start times. The organization has been considering moving weekday faceoffs at 7:30 to allow more time for Long Islanders traveling into Brooklyn. Maybe they still will, but if this is any indication, the Brooklyn brass may want to try 7 initially. We should have some clarity soon when the regular-season schedule is released.
Brian Compton and Christian Arnold discuss trading right winger Kyle Okposo, and the possibility of acquiring Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp.
Plus, Brian chats with the top prospect in the Isles’ system left winger Michael Dal Colle about the experience he gained at last year’s training camp and if he expects to make the team this fall.
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