Towards the end of last week, the New York Islanders and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov reached an agreement on a one-year contract extension that will keep him on Long Island until at least the end of next year.
It was an incredible turnaround for a guy who didn’t want any part of the Islanders organization barely even a year ago. It’s very possible that they could do the same thing with a different player who had similar feelings about joining the organization not too long ago.
When the Islanders acquired defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky from the Anaheim Ducks last summer, he tried to avoid them just as Nabokov had. He attempted to get the league to nullify the trade. Then, after the lockout, many wondered if he’d even come back from the KHL.
Now he’s here, having played most of the season for the Islanders after arriving late. And it looks like he could be around for longer than anyone could have expected just a few months ago.
Visnovsky is an unrestricted free agent this summer and is 36 years old. He can still be a valuable part of this club, though, as they start to see the light at the end of the long tunnel that this rebuild as become.
If he was to sign an extension, it would likely be similar to what Nabokov just signed for, only one or two years. He’d provide this team with some veteran leadership and continue to be the asset on the power play that he has become. Though his point totals have gone down in the past few seasons, he’s still reliable on the blue line and has a fantastic shot from the point.
Of course, the Isles could also move to trade him if they can’t agree to some sort of extension before the trade deadline. Either one seems like it could be in play for the Islanders, but one would have to imagine that they’ll at least explore the idea of an extension before looking at the alternatives.