Well, to say the New York Islanders are in an ideal situation to start the NHL season would be slightly off base. Injuries have begun to take hold even before the first game of the season, and Lubomir Visnovsky continues to play games (it's not hockey—that's for sure).
Earlier today, it was reported that Josh Bailey is out two-four weeks with a knee injury. This is horrible timing for Bailey; after he elevated his play last year, many were looking for this to be his breakout year, as he would no longer weighed down by a group of players with limited offensive skills.
Then came other news that Jesse Joensuu will not be ready for camp this Sunday due to a groin injury. This is another bit of unfortunate timing. After Jesse had a very good World Championships last year and an awesome start to the season in Finland during the lockout, he suffered a wrist injury, sidelining him for more than a month. This was his chance to come back and prove he is an NHL-caliber player. No timeline was listed for his return.
Moving along on such positive notes, the Islanders had arranged for a flight to return Lubomir Visnovsky to the island to start training camp tomorrow. Needless to say, in a showing of the utmost professionalism, Visnovsky wasn't on the plane and left the Isles waiting like a desperate girlfriend. Either Lubomir will show up to camp, or he will forfeit playing hockey. The KHL has stated they will honor their agreement concerning NHL contracts and told Visnovsky he must return to the Islanders if he wants to play for Bratislava in the future.
While we'd like to admit that we can write Visnovsky off and toll his contract, his absence leaves a gaping hole in the Isles' defense and puts a damper on the team's offseason achievements. That being said, it is likely he ends up here eventually. The man obviously wants to still be playing hockey, seeing as how he's making such a big deal about wanting to play at home, and will only be able to do so by reporting.
The Isles will get on without Bailey and Joensuu for now, but we may see a few more camp invites after their losses. Moreover, Griffin Reinhart might make it out of camp if Visnovsky continues his antics and doesn't report to camp. In addition, Ryan Strome's chances of making the team will be even stronger, as the Islanders desperately need healthy bodies.
You can follow Mike Blazowski on Twitter @mikeblazowski for Islanders updates and talk!
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