James Wisniewski is on the move again. After failing to find an NHL contract this off-season, likely due to missing nearly all of 2015-16 with the Carolina Hurricanes with an injury, Wisniewski settled for a professional tryout with the Tampa Bay Lightning during preseason. Wisniewski was unable to make the most of his PTO and was cut by the team before the regular season began. He then joined the KHL’s Admiral Vladivostok, where he has played for the past two months. However, Wisniewski himself announced his departure from the team this week.
Wisniewski now plans to head to Switzerland where he will join Team Lugano for the upcoming Spengler Cup. The Spengler Cup is an international invitational tournament hosted each year by Swiss NLA club HC Davos every holiday season. The tournament includes mostly European pro teams, usually from the NLA and KHL, as well as a non-NHL/AHL team from Canada. HC Lugano is a fellow NLA team taking part in the tournament this year. Wisniewski will now join the squad, which already employs former NHLers Maxim Lapierre, Damien Brunner, and Ryan Wilson. While it has not been officially announced whether or not Wisniewski will continue to play for Lugano in the NLA season following the Spengler Cup, it is a safe assumption.
So far in 2016-17, Wisniewski had a goal and three assists in 16 games with Admiral Vladivostok, usually skating alongside former NHL defenseman Anton Volchenkov. The KHL team was a ways out from contention though, 23 points behind in their division. Wisniewski now joins a more talented team in Lugano, who is primed to fight for a playoff spot this season. Wisniewski brings 552 games of NHL experience, as well as 274 career points worth of skill to his new team.