The Islanders could be adding much-needed help to their patchwork blue line sooner rather than later.
Lubomir Visnovsky is expected to arrive on Long Island on Wednesday, could join the team on Thursday and possibly even suit up for the matchup with the Rangers that night or Saturday's home game against the Sabres, coach Jack Capuano said.
"There's a good chance that he'll go in [the lineup]," the second-year coach said. "We're going to have to see, evaluate that situation when he gets here. If he was here right off the bat, it would have alleviated some of those minutes obviously with Andrew [MacDonald] and Travis [Hamonic]."
Visnovsky, a 36-year-old skilled defenseman in the final season of a three-year contract, was traded to the Islanders in June from the Ducks. He filed an official grievance in hopes of having the trade voided, but the NHL upheld the transaction.
During the lockout, Visnovsky played in the Russian-based KHL with HC Slovan Bratislava, his hometown team. He had six goals and 27 assists in 68 games last year for Anaheim.
The Islanders officially suspended him on the final day of training camp for not reporting. Visnovsky has said through his agent, Neil Sheehy, he was dealing with "personal medical reasons within his immediate family."
Sheehy recently wrote on his Twitter account Visnovsky would be back "no later than Feb 11th, possibly sooner."
Visnovsky told Slovakian sports site sport.sk he has a plane ticket to head to Long Island on Wednesday, ahead of his son's surgery, which is scheduled for Friday.
* The Islanders' power play was ranked first in the NHL entering action, yet it managed just five shots in seven opportunities and failed to score.
Visnovsky set for Isles return
New York Post | Feb 4