KHL releases statement on Lubomir Visnovsky

Jeff Gross

The Kontinental Hockey League has released a statement regarding the Lubomir Visnovsky situation.

The Kontinental Hockey League released a statement regarding the Lubomir Visnovsky situation on the league's facebook account on Tuesday afternoon and confirmed that the New York Islanders' defenseman will not be permitted to play in the KHL during the 2012-13 season.

Citing the memorandum of understanding with the NHL, the statement explains that under the rules of the agreement, no player with an NHL contract will be permitted to play in the KHL this season.

The statement also noted that Visnovsky and his preferred club of choice, HC Slovan Bratislava, have filed a formal request with the NHL requesting permission for Visnovsky to remain with the club for the remainder of the year. Without permission, the club will not be allowed to employ Visnovsky.

Representatives from both leagues will be meeting in the near future to discuss the situation and determine if a compromise can be constructed.

If Slovan and Visnovsky are still dissatisfied, they will be legally permitted to file for arbitration as is detailed in the memorandum of understanding.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

Respect for the rules of cooperation among partners, adherence to agreements and the fulfillment of all obligations undertaken are the most important of the principles which have guided the Kontinental Hockey League ever since its foundation.

In September of 2012 the League introduced an amendment to its regulations governing the signing by KHL clubs of players currently under contract to NHL clubs in the event of a lockout, and the amendment stipulates that the locked out players' contracts must contain a clause allowing immediate unilateral termination when the NHL lockout is resolved, and the players are to return to North America to fulfil their obligations to their respective clubs.

Of the 43 players from the NHL who as a result of the lockout signed contracts to play in the KHL Championship, 42 have returned to North America to train for the forthcoming NHL campaign. However, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who spent the lockout at Slovan Bratislava and is currently under contract with the New York Islanders, has announced that he plans to continue playing in the KHL.Mr. Visnovsky and HC Slovan Bratislava have submitted a request to the League asking that the player be permitted to sign a contract with Slovan until the end of the 2012-13 season, citing the player's complex personal circumstances and his desire to continue his career in his homeland.

The 2012-13 season is covered by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the KHL and NHL, which contains a clause stating that players under contract with a club from one league cannot fulfill any obligation to a club from the other league during the term of the player's contract. The KHL has therefore refused permission for Slovan to enter into any further agreement with LubomirVisnovsky until the end of the current season.

In addition, the Memorandum of Understanding made provision for negotiations between the two leagues in the event of such a situation arising. Official representatives appointed by the KHL and NHL are to meet in the very near future to review Lubomir Visnovsky's case and seek a compromise. In the event of these negotiations failing to produce a positive outcome, the player and the club may, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, exercise their legal right to apply for the matter to be resolved through arbitration.

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