Originally posted on Fox - The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 6/23/12
Teams willing to take a salary cap hit can add a lot of skill in the modern NHL.Consider what the New York Islanders did at the first day of the draft. Spending just a second-round pick in 2013, the team added high-end offensive defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.Yes, Visnovsky turns 36 before the start of training camp. Yes, he will eat a $5.6 million chunk of the cap budget.But he can still add offense. He scored five goals and added 22 assists in 68 games for a Ducks team that struggled much of last season.Back in 2010-11 Visnovsky put up huge numbers in Anaheim: 18 goals, 50 assists and a plus-18 rating. If the Islanders can get production somewhere between those two levels, this will be a great trade for them.Visnovsky’s actual salary for the coming season is just $3 million, so he is not a budget breaker. He fills huge near-term need for Islanders GM Garth Snow.Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic were the only veteran Islanders D-men Snow opted to bring back next season. So even after adding Visnovksy, Snow is still looking to bolster his blue line for next season.He is also hoping that prospects Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness and Matt Donovan will compete for playing time as well. And the Islanders drafted blue-chip prospect Griffin Reinhart, a future “top four” defenseman, with the fourth overall pick in this draft.The potential of those four players is high. So adding a veteran offensive defenseman with one contract year remaining made great sense for Snow.
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