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Lubomir Visnovsky, six pounds lighter

August 29, 2011

Visnovsky shored up the blueline, helped the youngins’.

Anaheim Ducks blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky was interviewed by today. He was assisting at a charity event for disadvantaged youth on a sheet of synthetic ice, in fact, when the interview was held.

Visnovsky, despite being 35 and in his 12th NHL season, had a breakout year last season, if that’s possible. He tallied his highest point total ever, with 18 goals and 50 assists in 81 games. After entering the league with the Kings in 200o, where he stayed for seven seasons before moving to the Oilers and then Anaheim, he’s never achieved those heights. Now at 35, he’s on his game.

According to the article, Visnovsky has been training on synthetic ice this summer, with great success. He is six pounds lighter, and claims to be in his best shape yet (then again, don’t they all claim that?). He detoxified with water and lemon juice for three days after the season ended. He also attributes the weight loss to an adjustment in his training routine last year on account of injury. He was forced to focus more on cardio and stabilization. Whether this had led to his success, correlation isn’t causation, of course, but it might be the case. Great agility, less bulk–more offense? Hm.

When asked about Anaheim’s demise in the first round against Nashville, Visnovsky remarked that the Ducks are great team, but “if we were Detroit, perhaps we would have advanced. Even so, Boston didn’t play the best hockey, and they won the Cup.” Zing. Well, if by that he means they were not favored, then I’ll grant him that. The Canucks were the better team, who had played better. In terms of how other players across the NHL viewed the Canucks-Boston match-up, this is an interesting point he’s made. Naturally, he expressed the desire to win the Cup himself as his career draws to a close. And if anything, Boston’s victory should underscore the point that so-called underdogs can and do win.

Is Anaheim at that stage? Probably not. Visnovsky’s season could have been a fluke, but it also could have been the dawning of a new chapter in his career. In post-Niedermayer Anaheim, he stood up in a way no other player on the Ducks’ roster did last year. At 35, can he have upside? It seems he does. With the sophomore Cam Fowler (whose +/- was horrifying), Visnovsky will have his hands full mentoring the next generation, too.

He is a 10-year NHL veteran, I think he could advance his case for becoming one of NHL’s great defensemen, there with Chara, Weber and Lidstrom, if he keeps at it.

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