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PITTSBURGH — New York Islanders GM Garth Snow had talked about his team landing a veteran defenseman at the NHL Draft via trade. Before the Islander made their pick at No. 4, it was announced they had traded a 2013 second-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.
Nagging injuries contributed to Visnovsky having a down season in 2011-12 as he had just six goals and 21 assists in 68 games after a career year in 2010-11 in which he had 18 goals, 50 assists and a plus-18 rating that earned him Norris Trophy consideration.
Daniel from Anaheim Calling assessed Visnovsky on the trading block prior to the Draft:
Lubo's value was probably going to be high and those assets could have really helped us this summer, but Lubo was also a very serviceable defender. Anaheim fans know his good points well, and I won't reiterate them. … Visnovsky is probably the second most valuable NHL player on our team that we would be willing to trade.
The Ducks clear $5.6 million from their cap.
It gives the Islanders a offensive defenseman they needed, as Mark Streit (47 points) was the primary scoring option. The surprise here is that the Islanders didn't trade for a slightly younger player (he's 35) under a longer-term contract, as Visnovsky is only signed through 2013.
But as far as needs and available players go, this is a near perfect match for the Isles, and at the right price, considering what they're paying the rest of the defense.