Slovakia GM Otto Sykora announced on Saturday that veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has pulled out of the Sochi Olympics, as he’s not yet recovered fully from a concussion earlier this season.
Sykora told the AP that Visnovsky didn't feel fit enough to play at the Olympics and called it “a huge loss” for the team.
The interesting thing here is that it appears it was Visnovsky that pulled out of the Olympics, seeing as how Sykora went off on the New York Islanders and GM Garth Snow for allegedly holding back the defenseman due to health concerns.
Newsday reported Visnovsky accepted the Islanders decision, but it sounds like Sykora is willing to put up a fight.
“If it’s possible he can play and he says he’s okay, he can play, I really don’t understand why he not can play,” Sykora said at Slovak Point in the Adler train station following a media conference with Slovakian defenceman Zdeno Chara.
“If he is injured, we accept this. If he say he’s not injured and he can play and (Snow) say we don’t let him go, we don’t understand this.”
Visnovsky missed 46 games with a concussion this season.
Was it ultimately his decision? Who knows. The bottom line is that the Islanders have another season invested in Visnovsky at $6 million base salary next season, and they aren’t about to see that investment put at risk in an exhibition tournament.