RE 09-10:Lubomir Visnovsky

Even knowing about him (Lubo killed the Oil a time or two) could not prepare a person for the pure joy that is Lubomir Visnovsky. Confident and savvy, swift and gifted, Lubo can do all kinds of things with the puck and plays the game with abandon. He’s just flat out fun.

The Oilers have some good puck movers (Gilbert, Grebeshkov are solid young players) and a defender who is money on the PP (Souray). Visnovsky is the best player among them because his skill set is more varied than Souray’s and more developed than the other two defensemen. It may not always be the case but Lubomir Visnovsky is the best D on the club at this time.

  • Boxcars: 50gp, 8-23-31 30pims
  • Shots: 86
  • Plus Minus: +6
  • Corsi: +5.8
  • 5×5/60: 0.93
  • 5×4/60: 3.07
  • GF/GA ON: 37-27
  • Quality of Competition: in a group behind Souray
  • Quality of Pairing: best available
  • 09-10 cap hit (capgeek): 5.6M
  1. What do these numbers tell us? He was on his way to a terrific season before the injury. Lubo may have topped 50 points if he’d played a full season and opened up the ice nicely for others when in the lineup. Man he can pass the puck. Visnovsky’s 5×5 and 5×4 numbers are not the best on the club among defenders but he’s the most complete offensive player on the blue. He faced about the same competition as Gilbert and Staios with only Souray facing tougher competition through the year. Lubo played with top flight help during 08-09.
  2. How could these numbers be better? Best Corsi among defenders and a quality GF/GA trailing only Grebeshkov doesn’t leave a lot of room for improvement. I expect he may be better in his second season with Edmonton but if he duplicates 08-09 no one could complain.
  3. What about injury? That’s the big concern I think, counting on a guy who was hurt a year ago. Looking at his injury history, he’s about average for a player of his position (shoulders, knees, ankles) but is getting to an age where counting on 82 games is likely a bad idea. We’re not even certain he’ll be healthy for training camp (I haven’t read anything suggesting he’s ahead of schedule). UPDATE: cartooncolin posted below that Ryan Rishaug reported on TSN last night that he is good to go for training camp. Huge positive.
  4. What about a trade? He apparently has a no-trade (Oilers honored the LA contract, although I’m not certain it’s ever been confirmed) but he’s also signed through 2013 at good dollar so a team acquiring him is making a major commitment.
  5. Will Quinn play him against tough opposition? The knock on Lubo is size but he’s a smart, smart player and the top 4D will probably get a nice rotation going against the other team’s best.
  6. How will Quinn play him on special teams? I think he might use Lubo a lot like he used Tomas Kaberle and Brian McCabe in Toronto in 2005-06: they each played 7.5 minutes a night on the powerplay. It would mean lesser numbers for Gilbert and Grebeshkov, plus counting on Smid (plus Staios) on the PK but it’s a consideration. If the Oilers are going to make the post-season, special teams will be the caravan.
  7. How Important is Visnovsky to this team? Extremely important. The Oilers were 25-25 (.500) with him in the lineup and 13-19 (.406) without him. I don’t like making these kinds of arguments but any fool can see the Oilers were a better club with him and their playoff chances took a hit when he went down.

Predictions Past 2008-09

  • 76gp, 12-38-50 (.658 per game)
  • 50gp, 8-23-31 (.620 per game)

Prediction for 2009-10: 66gp, 11-29-40 (.606 per game)

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13 Responses to "RE 09-10:Lubomir Visnovsky"

  1. cartooncolin says:

    Ryan Rishaug reported Lubo was good to go on for T.C. TSN last night.

    That win-loss record without him is a real humdinger.

  2. Coach pb9617 says:

    That W/L differential is almost as stunning as it was with Pitkanen. Almost, but not quite.

  3. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    It's hardly that simple. Take a look at how many ES goals Horcoff scored after the new year and try and ascertain how much of the swoon was due to Hemsky's pouting.

  4. R O says:

    My impression of with-or-without-you was that it requires quite a large sample of games and also relatively similar sample sizes on the "with" side as the "without" side.

    Still, general point taken. The guy was good.

  5. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    Thanks LT. There is 11 of the goals from the D, keep em coming! :)

  6. doritogrande says:

    It's your call, but I think the goals total seems a bit high considering he isn't the triggerman on the powerplay. If Souray goes down for an extended period of time however, he might hit 20 goals himself.

    Absolutely superb talent though. With Zubov heading to the KHL, he's probably in the top-5 of puck movers in the NHL.

  7. Promethian says:

    "Visnovsky is the best player among them because his skill set is more varied than Souray's and more developed the other two defensemen."

    I can agree that he is more skilled than Souray on the puck skills and skating side of things, but he does not bring some things that Souray can such as the toughness, leadership, and reach.

    That being said, there were many games last season where I commented out loud to my not-even-paying-attention-anyway wife that I was thrilled to see a smooth skater like Viz rollin' up the ice, and glad that our other 1A defender, Souray, would be out next shift.

    I love a deep D corps. Sign Seidenberg and we're laughing.

  8. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lubomir Visnovsky did an interview back home on August 5th; it's translated here.

    On August 5th Visnovsky estimated he was at about 80% and wouldn't be at 100% for a month and a half.

  9. Smarmy Boss says:

    When you look at what Souray and Vish bring to a team they complement eachother well.

    If you could meld them into one player you'd have a generational talent and an inner circle hall of famer.

  10. raventalon40 says:

    I'm sure the Oilers could split up Souray and Visnovsky and pretty much kill the opposition with the dreaded Souray-Gilbert and Visnovsky-Grebeshkov combinations.

    I love Steve Staios, but 2.7 million is a lot to pay for a third pairing defenseman. Yeah he blocks shots… but he doesn't do much of anything else. Look at Brett Lebda, he makes a fraction of that money and that's not even because he took a pay cut to play in Detroit. It's just what a guy like him is worth. Even Ladi Smid is a tad overpaid, but I guess the bonus is for his potential.

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Visnovky's injury killed MacT.

    Around Christmastime I was watching the Oilers a few times and suddenly realised that they had one of the coolest puck moving defences I've ever seen. Those four guys need to play another season together, with a Pat Quinn watching with the same pure joy that I got out of them.

    Add a couple of killers like Peckham and Smid(who will one day break out as a super defenceman I suspect) and they start to go places.

    Stick those guys out with forwards who know how to score(Schremp, Nilsson, Hemsky, and whoever else they can dredge up), and watch this team excite people for the first time in 20 years, that "we nearly won the cup but fucked up totally in game 7" malarkey.

  12. 99thoilerfan says:


    I agree, his injury was the beginning of the end, last season.

    to quote Don Cherry..
    " he is a Beauty "

  13. NBOilerFan says:

    How Important is Visnovsky to this team? Extremely important.

    This is so true. He is our most important D-man. I find it funny how two years ago Gilbert exceeded expectations and he was our savior amd got his big contract. Then last year he leveled off and it was Grebs turn to exceed expectations and now he is our saviour and Gilbert is tradeable.

    Both of Grebs and Gilbert are our defensive future and neither should be moved. But neither are as good as Vish yet because he just is a better smarter player which is likely just due to more experience than anything.

    I love what Souray brings to this team, but he would be the one I'd move first out of these big 4 and he is a likely candidate come trade deadline depending on where this teams is in the standings.

    I've said it before and I'll say t again, they should move Staios for whatever they can and replace him with a cheap 1yr option UFA.

    It can't be proven with numbers but I truly believe this team fell apart after in a slow downward spiral that was started when Vish got injured. Just my opinion.

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