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Lubomir Visnovsky Signs 2-Year Extension with New York Islanders

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 03: Lubomir Visnovsky #11 of the New York Islanders  in action against the Ottawa Senators during their game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 3, 2013 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Mike BlazowskiAnalyst IMarch 29, 2013

Both Arthur Staple of Newsday and the New York Islanders (via NHL.com) are reporting that the Islanders have signed defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.

After all of the huffing and puffing that superseded Lubomir actually reporting to Long Island, he has followed the trend of most who come here...they actually like it.

We saw a similar story in Evgeni Nabokov two years ago when he refused to report, only to have his contract tolled, then re-signed with the Islanders for the following season.

This unveiling is striking in many ways. First of all, despite all of the criticism Garth Snow received for his player development and lack of moves during the trade deadline, he has pulled an ace out of his hat for this one.

Visnovsky is a top-scoring defenseman and was acquired for only a second-round pick at last year's NHL entry draft.

That's good value in terms of the actual deal; he payed what Visnovsky is worth, at $4.75 million each year. It's not exactly peanuts, but it is what a player of his caliber makes on the open market. The second question is, given the questionable ownership habits of the past few years, what does this mean in terms of the teams ownership future moving forward?

This leaves Mark Streit and Nabokov as the remaining two major unrestricted free agents on the team. Snow would be wise to sign them both to similar extensions if possible, once again depending if ownership is willing to act like a real team and spend on players who are worth it. 

Defense is what has plagued this team for the past two seasons and bringing this kind of stability for the next few years on the blue line is precisely what this team needs.

With a wealth of prospects chomping at the bit to make an entrance into the NHL, the roster will be highly competed for in training camp next season. The Islanders still lack a real shutdown pair of defenseman, leaving a glaring hole in the blue line for the team who leads the NHL in goals allowed. 

It's time for Snow and ownership to act like a professional sports team should and make a move on Streit and Nabokov. Both are veterans and good players, letting them walk would be a mistake.

One down, two to go. 

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