Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
It appears we have an update on New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, and it’s probably not the one fans of the team have waited for.
According to Arthur Staple, the “best-case scenario” for the 37-year-old defenseman to return to the Islanders lineup appears to be early February to play “a game or two” before the Olympic break. “Next-best case” for his return would be when the NHL resumes play after the break, and after that, let’s just say it would be anything but ideal for both the Islanders and Lubo.
Regardless of any scenario, the news definitely stings an Islanders team that is trying to find its way back into the playoff race. Since Visnovsky suffered his concussion on October 19, 2013, the Islanders have averaged 3.31 goals-against-per-game (116 goals allowed). Suffering defensive lapse after defensive lapse, the team has become infamous for its “microwave breakdowns” – the habit of allowing two-to-three goals in a several-minute span – throughout the season.
Visnovsky’s current status also poses the next question: should the Islanders shut him down for the rest of the season?
It’s a fair question. Visnovsky is under contract through the 2014-15 season, so with the Islanders falling out of the playoff race – who know where they will be one month (at least) from now – the Islanders might want to keep their defenseman on rest through the summer. Neil Sheehy, Visnovsky’s agent, suggests that Visnovsky wants to get back and play for the Islanders “this season,” but in the bigger picture for this hockey club, it might not be worth having Visnovsky, aging and injured, to return.
Eyes on Isles wishes Lubomir the best in his recovery, and we hope to see him return sooner than later.