Lubomir Visnovsky, traded at this year’s draft from Anaheim to the New York Islanders for a 2013 second-round draft pick, has filed a grievance through the NHL Players Association. The grievance contests the trade that sent him to New York, claiming that his contract’s no-trade clause is still valid.
When Visnovsky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers in 2010 to the Anaheim Ducks, there was a valid no-trade clause written in to his contract. He did not invoke his NTC to block his movement to Anaheim, and because of this there is uncertainty whether his NTC is still valid.
The Anaheim Ducks are set to oppose Visnovsky’s grievance and the matter will go to arbitration. If Visnovsky’s NTC is determined to still be valid, he remains part of the Anaheim Ducks club. If arbitration goes in the Ducks’ favor, Visnovsky becomes an Islander against his will.
This certainly won’t sit well with fans of the Islanders, a team that desperately needs the veteran blue line help that Visnovsky can provide. Visnovsky’s disinterest in playing for the Islanders if reminiscent of Evgeni Nabokov, the former San Jose Sharks goaltender who refused to report to New York when the Islanders claimed him off waivers.
It’ll be interesting to see how things progress, regardless of what team he ends up on. If he reverts back to Anaheim, what does the club do with the player they attempted to trade away? If his trade is valid, what do the Islanders do with a player who doesn’t want to be there? One of these questions will be answered once we see the arbitration results.
Jer is ready for arbitration drama. Follow him on Twitter @JerMeansWell.