Player evaluation: Visnovsky

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LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY

This season: 82 games, 8 goals, 33 assists, minus-18 rating.

Positives: This depends on which Visnovsky you’d like to talk about: the one who, during the previous couple seasons, established himself as a potential Norris Trophy candidate, or the one who looked tenative and overmatched this season. When he’s on his game, Visnovsky is, pound-for-pound, a very strong defenseman with great puck-moving skills and good offensive instincts.

Negatives: So, what happened to that guy last year? It certainly looked like a new player on the ice this season, and not in a good way.

Looking ahead: It’s hard to say what went wrong with Visnovsky. A popular theory is that he got overwhelmed, mentally, by the combination of a big contract extension (which kicks in next season) and the fact that he was named an assistant captain. The hope within the organization is that he will settle down and return to previous form.

Contract situation: Signed through 2012-13 (cap number of $5.6 million next season).

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  • John Roy Morgan

    A popular theory is that he got overwhelmed, mentally, by the combination of a big contract extension (which kicks in next season) and the fact that he was named an assistant captain. The hope within the organization is that he will settle down and return to previous form.

    I think thats alot of bull, the theory not you Rich! I think he is getting gun shy hitting people, more so getting hit. I think he played the way he did because he doesn’t like the coach or the way the Kings play the game. Classic way a guy plays when he is unhappy with his team.

  • ryan oliver

    I love Lubo, so thats maybe why I am biased in thinking he didn’t play too bad. I do think it was being named assistant captain that got too him.

  • Eric K

    i’m hoping lubo elevates his game next year with an improved defense and a little less pressure (or at least being used to the pressure). because if he doesn’t, he is an overpaid disappointment, plain and simple.

  • Eric K

    and i expect him to repay me with cookies if he isn’t up to par next year.

  • Anonymous

    He was a target all season long. He was checked almost on every shift by the opposition. And he got no help from his team mates. And this caused his game to unravel. His lack of confidence made things much harder for him. He needs to play with a big defensman who can do the dirty work along the boards and also to stand up for him when the need arises.

  • lakingzfan

    Sounds simple to me, take the A away! Some players have bad years. Lets remember, hes still had more good years than bad. He’ll bounce back next year.

  • 24diving

    I had wondered during the first half of the season if there was an undisclosed injury, ala Stuart, that was hampering his play. The mental angle of wanting to play up to to self-imposed expectations would certainly also explain the decline in his play from that of the previous years. The last part of the year his play rebounded so I would expect next year to be a better one.

  • kb

    Vote for lubo. Lubo fell off allot this year. He made enough mistakes on the ice this year (probably enough to compensate for the lack of mistakes during the previous season.) But look at the guys work ethic. This year he came to every game, and played his hardest. I do hope he returns to form, and i am confident that he has the determination and adaptability to do so. In defense of lubo for this season, if there was one player who deserved to fall off a little after last year it was probably Visnovsky.

  • Anonymous

    John Roy Morgan if that’s the case, tell me why he signed here long term? He could have turned down the contact and forced a trade or he could’ve tested the amrket this summer.

  • PuckinUgly57

    “He needs to play with a big defensman who can do the dirty work along the boards and also to stand up for him when the need arises.”

    He played with Modry almost the entire time when he was here the first 5-6 years, so this theory is out the window because Visnosvky was successful. Modry was anything BUT dependable.

    Bottom line is he took a major step backward this season, and we should count our stars it was the old contract of $2.2 million or whatever the figure was and not the $5.6 million figure (he will actually get paid $7 million actual dollars next season, one of the highest in the league and more than Pronger or Neidermayer. Dude needs to earn it and play like an elite defenseman).

    I don’t buy the A theory or contract theory – he simply had a bad year, and in his defense the first bad one of his career overall, so he should be given some slack. There are a lot of changes going on with this team right now.

    If he tanks next season though, the Kings have a serious issue on their hands then.

  • kyle

    No questioning his work ethic. FWIW I think he simply overworked, overthought and tried to overcompensate for the team’s admitted shortcomings on the blue line. Add that up and you get a season like Lubo had. I’m looking for a rebound next year, and no cookies for Eric K. (and the end of Anthony’s negative posts on Lubo).

  • Anonymous

    He just had one of those years that Murphy would even yell out WTF!!!

    It did seem that he was trying to cover from his mistakes by not going back to basics…but from trying too hard in not making the next one… That proved to be a disaster that I believe is easily fixed over the off-season…

  • Dan H.

    I always loved Lubo. I think he’ll come back better next season. He’s not a guy who went into the contract year with ONE good season. He’s been consitently good so he needs to figure it out and get that edge back. If not, then like someone said above he’s a big overpaid disapointment. I don’t think it’ll turn out that way though.

  • ian

    Lubo is a talented and apparently prideful guy, I’m sure he’ll be good next year. It’s not like he had a disgusting season this year, just below his previous high standard, he still made a LOT of great plays.
    On another note is anyone else enjoying seeing the duckies on the brink? Go Matty! Also, Modry made a sweet pass to I think Richards in the Philly game last night that resulted in a goal, great play, nice to see him do well after the passing of his father.

  • anthony

    I would love to see him in a package deal with Lord Cammi.

    He is too small to be on the blue line. Power forwards just over power him every chance they get.
    His one attribute, his point shot, was a miss out last season.
    Now he’s just an overpaid defenseman with shortcomings.

    Trade him now while he still has some worth.

    That picture of Peter Harrold, should have been Lubos.

  • Jon G

    Hopefully this was just an off year, but I’m concerned that opposing teams are going to continue targeting him physically as they did this year. It clearly worked.

    In past years I was amazed at how Lubo was able to brush off heavy hits, but this year it seemed like those same hits were really affecting his play.

  • ian

    Anthony, that’s ridiculous..

  • ChilledAgua

    Anthony -

    Ridiculous statement.

    Get rid of the $6M no-show, move Lubo back to his regular side, and watch his shot be a factor again.

    I think that Modry was a factor in previous years because, and I’ve seen it in the Philly series and earlier this year when Jaro was with the Kings,
    he is good at not stranding his partner in the defensive zone due to lack of a passing target.

    It should be the case in any pairing that the two should read off each other and make sure they’re available for a pass in the event their partner needs to move the puck quickly due to a strong forecheck.

    Lubo got pounded a lot this season (rather than just making a blind, dangerous pass).

    The forwards were notoriously bad at coming back to provide passing options, and if the other D failed to do so, Lubo was forced to keep the puck and absorb the hit.

    In the times my wife and I had the opportunity to speak with him, it became apparent to us that he is a serious, conscientious guy, and for some to insinuate that he has an attitude problem is patently insulting.

    There are a few on this comment page who should be ready to eat a generous amount fo crow when he has a good season next year.

  • John Roy Morgan

    Anonymous, Lubo was signed in the same vain as CLOUTIER. Tell me why Cloutier was signed to a big contract??

    It is also ridiculous to say Lebo needs to be paired with a Big Defense man. If a D man can’t stick up for himself and has to rely on a Big guy, who sticks up for the goalie? Or maybe that was a problem this year….

  • triplcrown

    The answer seems simple
    to me, but you gotta’
    do BOTH:

    1.Let Lubo play on his
    favored (“comfort”) side
    of the ice.

    2.Get a QUALITY stay-at-home guy with smarts & physicality
    (like Mike Commodore?—-
    Something 2 think about as FA-Season approaches this summer).

    The likely result?

    Lubo would be comfy again and would probably have a career season.

    Just 4 fun
    Think of Lubo paired with
    Colin White (or someone like him).
    Got it yet? :)

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