The Los Angeles Kings were mired in controversy during the 2014-15 NHL season due to defenseman Slava Voynov, who was arrested and charged for domestic assault at a Halloween party near the start of the season.
Ultimately, the blue liner was charged, spent time in jail – after a nearly full missed season due to a league suspension – and departed for the KHL following his release.
A slow season for the blue liner for the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg seems like it would have made this a slightly moot point, of course – but as of Monday afternoon, it has been confirmed that Voynov won’t be returning to North America to skate out for his nation at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. He was named to Team Russia’s final roster earlier this week.
Per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Russian Federation has been informed that Voynov – who was facing deportation proceedings to begin with prior to his decision to sign with SKA – will not be eligible to play at the World Cup this September in Toronto, Canada. The reasoning, per NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, is that Voynov is still considered to be under NHL suspension.
A native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, Voynov won two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings before he was ultimately suspended by the Kings for the domestic abuse charges brought against him. Voynov released a statement last spring confirming he would be immediately departing for Russia, which was followed by a statement released by the Kings suggesting the team had been planning to terminate his contract with the club – but that the termination was no longer necessary, as he chose to leave of his own volition.