Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has not played in the NHL since October 2014, when he punched, kicked, and choked his wife, and pushed her head into a TV screen. Voynov pleaded no contest to a charge of spousal abuse, served 90 days in jail, was suspended indefinitely, and had his Kings contract terminated. Rather than face potential deportation proceedings, he moved back to his native Russia, where he won a Gagarin Cup in the KHL and a gold medal at the 2018 Olympics.
Voynov’s conviction was dismissed last summer after he completed his three years of probation, and now he’s considering returning to the NHL. He’s going to have to wait a while longer for that. Today, the NHL announced that Voynov will be suspended for all of next season.
The league’s statement:
The National Hockey League announced today that defenseman Slava Voynov has been suspended for the entire 2019-20 NHL season (including Playoffs) for unacceptable off-ice conduct. Voynov’s eligibility to play in the NHL will be restored (assuming good behavior) no later than July 1, 2020.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman levied the suspension under Rule 18-A of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Commissioner’s ruling came following an investigation by the League and an in-person hearing in New York on Thursday, March 21. The investigation and hearing were conducted, pursuant to the terms of the CBA, to determine the relevant facts and circumstances relating to an Oct. 19, 2014, incident involving Voynov and his wife. The incident ultimately resulted in Voynov pleading no contest to a misdemeanor violation of § 273.5(a) of the California Penal Code on July 2, 2015.
Mr. Voynov originally was suspended indefinitely by the NHL following his arrest on Oct. 20, 2014.
“I have determined that Player Slava Voynov engaged in acts of domestic violence directed at his wife,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Today’s ruling, while tailored to the specific facts of this case and the individuals involved, is necessary and consistent with the NHL’s strongly-held policy that it cannot and will not tolerate this and similar types of conduct, particularly as directed at a spouse, domestic partner or family member.”
Voynov will be 30 years old when he’s eligible to play, and will be a free agent. If anyone wants to sign him.