The drama surrounding New York Islanders AWOL defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky has come to a head after the Isles suspended him on Friday.
Visnovsky skipped out on a charter flight bound for New York on Jan. 15, citing personal issues as his reason. He had told Pluska.sk that his son had “health issues” and he would not be able to return to the National Hockey League in the coming weeks.
The 36-year-old also had hopes to play for his hometown team, HC Slovan Bratislava, in the Kontinental Hockey League, but the league rejected his request, honouring his contract with the Islanders.
The length of the suspension was not given.
WADE REDDEN SIGNS WITH BLUES
Former New York Rangers defenceman Wade Redden has inked a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues just a day after being bought out by his former team.
The deal, worth $800,000 (pro-rated), was signed Friday.
“Wade is a solid two-way defenceman,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. “We believe his experience will complement and add stability to our defensive core.”
If Redden plays six games with the Blues he’ll reach 1,000 NHL games played for his career. He has 106 goals and 344 assists in 994 games.
ED JOVANOVSKI NAMED FLORIDA’S CAPTAIN
Rugged blueliner Ed Jovanovski has been named captain of the Florida Panthers, making him the team’s seventh in franchise history.
Last season, the Panthers went with a group of four alternates: Jovanovski, Tomas Kopecky, Brian Campbell and Stephen Weiss.
Jovanovski is one of the most experienced players on the Panthers, appearing in 1085 games, with 136 goals, 358 assists for 494 points.
BRIEFLY: The Los Angeles Kings will show off their bling at their opening game Saturday night. Traditionally designed by Tiffany & Co., the jewelry will include 104 diamonds, according the Los Angeles Times … The Florida Panthers have signed 39-year-old veteran Alexei Kovalev to a one-year, $1 million deal. He spent the 2011-12 season with Atlant Moscow Oblast before suffering a knee injury … Eighteen-year-old Russian centre Mikhail Grigorenko has made the cut in Buffalo. The 2012 entry draft pick, taken 12th overall, will centre Steve Ott and Ville Leino in Buffalo’s first game of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers.