Lubo Cola

 

DANIEL:

Lubomir Visnovsky tied the game late against the Islanders last night, potting his 5th goal in his short time in an Anaheim sweater. Signed into 2012-13, Visnovsky is currently the Ducks' only long term blueliner. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of what his role will be over the next three seasons, but right now, he's a good top shot on the power play, his descending salary is a boon for the bean counters at the Pond and he has already proven himself a gamebreaking contributor alongside the Ducks' other long term options. On the other hand, he's a 33 year old small defenseman, who many Edmonton fans found overpaid to the tune of what will still be a 6M salary next year. Arthur, is it safe to drink the Visnovsky Kool-Aid or not?

ARTHUR:

Absolutely. it tastes just like it looks. Delicious. What I like most about Visnovsky is the emotion he's brought to Anaheim. He said that he didn't think he'd get traded from Edmonton, and that had to be pretty disappointing on a cellar team that was looking to clean house and rebuild. He's clearly relishing this opportunity.

Don't get me wrong, though. We shouldn't delude ourselves. He'll need to be paired well; he takes a lot of chances out there. Brookbank was able to cover for him a few times tonight, but I think he'll need a solid stay-at-home defenseman over the next few seasons. Also, he's had recent injuries and surgery, and we can't assume that everything will be 100% or get any younger.

But he's a gamebreaker in THIS offense, with THIS personnel. For whatever games he plays, he'll create scoring chances and unleash a shot that doesn't look surgically repaired in the least. Not only can we build a defense around him, but we should. I cannot imagine more of a 180 degree turnaround than to go from the prospect of a Whitney/Wisniewski Age to a Visnovsky Era. Murray did more to find offensive-defense in one trade than he did all of last spring and summer.

Come along.  You belong.  Feel the fizz of Lubo Cola.

 

DANIEL:

I couldn't agree more. I'm drinking this Kool-Aid by the pitcher. It's almost as good as the purple kind. Visnovsky's excitement reminds me of a man who's been freed from death row. His energy is high, and his commitment is unparalleled. However, the best part of Visnovsky is that he's not confused. For the entire season, Scott Niedermayer was the only person on the blueline who looked like he knew his job. Visnovsky knows what he's here to do: create offense from the back end.

Yes, he needs a stay at home guy, but there's going to be 3 or 4 great ones on the market this summer who can be had for less than we're paying Wisniewski right now. More importantly, the ability to anchor our power play makes him the right keeper. You can't replace Niedermayer's leadership, but maybe, maybe Lubo can replace his scoring. That's been the biggest concern for the Ducks since we won the Cup. Visnovsky has brought the kind of energy and commitment that will make losing Scotty a little less painful. I think his ability to play well on our power play makes him the pickup of Murray's tenure. I would love to keep Scotty and Visnovsky for next year, but if that's not possible, then maybe Visnovsky is the piece that finally lets us transition from the Niedermayer era and into a new and equally positive direction.

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