Lubomir Visnovsky, now 39 years old, has just announced his retirement after playing in the KHL this year. We would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to re-watch some of his handiwork.
Six years ago, Bob Murray pulled off arguably the best trade deadline move of his career when he acquired Lubo from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Ryan Whitney. A few days after the trade, he scored a beauty for his first Ducks goal, and there was much rejoicing. (Make sure you watch the replays to see the entire play.)
The Ducks ended up missing the playoffs that season for the first time in the salary cap era, but the next year would see them return, with Lubo driving the bus alongside newly named captain Ryan Getzlaf and his linemate Corey Perry, who won both the Rocket Richard and Hart Trophies. (All three received Hart votes that year.)
During that 2010-11 season, at the age of 34, Lubo posted a career high 68 points, good enough to lead all NHL blueliners in scoring. Consequently, he was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team at the end of the season and finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting. That'll happen when you can make plays like this:
With about a month remaining in the season and the Ducks desperately needing points to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race, the Slovakian defenseman scored three goals, including the overtime winner, in a game against the then-divisional rival Dallas Stars. He remains the only defenseman in Ducks history to score a hat trick.
All told, he ended up playing 165 regular season games in an Anaheim uniform, racking up 29 goals, 79 assists, and 108 points. He sits 7th all-time among Ducks defensemen in all three offensive categories despite playing only the 24th-most games. And despite his reputation as an offense-first player, he knew a thing or two about keeping pucks out of his own net.
Thanks for the memories Lubo, and enjoy your well-earned retirement.