James O'Brien

Patrick Kane
AP

Report: Tenuous talks of resolution in Kane case

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Lawyers for both Patrick Kane and his accuser are undergoing “fragile” discussions regarding a possible resolution regarding rape allegations, according to the Chicago Tribune.

An anonymous source shared some additional details with the Chicago Tribune:

Attorneys for the parties have been in communication for weeks, though they had not reached a formal agreement by Wednesday afternoon that would potentially end the criminal investigation. To the contrary, the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described a fluid situation in which both Kane and his accuser have refused at times to acquiesce because they both view themselves as the wronged party.

That same report notes that Kane’s accuser is covering multiple bases as far as her choices of attorneys are concerned:

Kane’s accuser continues to cooperate with the criminal investigation and has hired an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, in addition to the defense attorney who has been guiding her through that criminal investigation, sources said.

There are still a number of ways this process can turn out, especially considering the aforementioned (and anonymous) comment to the Chicago Tribune about both sides feeling “wronged.”

It’s difficult to speculate regarding what happens next, as matters can go through one or both of the criminal and civil processes.

Most immediately, Kane is scheduled to attend Blackhawks training camp while the team is holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The Chicago Tribune’s full report is absolutely worth a read, including some background regarding how situations somewhat similar to Kane’s ended up being resolved.

Kings GM calls off-ice issues ‘eye opening’

2014 Stanley Cup Final Media Day
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By virtually any measure, the past several months have been a nightmare for the Los Angeles Kings, even with many of the wounds being self-inflicted.

At least GM Dean Lombardi isn’t oblivious to that last point, as he discussed with reporters including the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott following news of Slava Voynov‘s decision to “self-depart.”

“In terms of all this, the last seven or eight months [have] really opened my eyes to a lot of things,” Lombardi said.

“We’re going to get better as an organization, I’m convinced.”

Lombardi admitted that the Kings have been “negligent” in the area of off-ice conduct, something he hopes to address.

It’s an understatement to say that the Kings have a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to matters that go far deeper than wins and losses.

Ugly headlines out of Los Angeles

Voynov self-departs

Kings terminate Mike Richards’ contract

Jarret Stoll charged with cocaine possession

Busy Devils hand Stempniak a PTO

Anaheim Ducks v Winnipeg Jets - Game Three
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New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero sure is getting a lot done on “Hump Day.”

Not long after the team announced a contract for Jiri Tlusty and tryout for Tyler Kennedy, the Devils also shared news that winger Lee Stepmniak is getting a professional tryout contract.

This comes as some surprise, as much of the scuttlebutt pointed to Stempniak trying to land a spot with the Boston Bruins.

Of course, he could still end up in a Bruins uniform to start the 2015-16 season, depending upon how things work out.

The Devils may opt against giving him a full deal (or leave too much money on the table), opening the door for the Bruins or another NHL team to acquire Stempniak.

The 32-year-old’s numbers have taken a slight dip lately, but to be fair, he’s been bouncing around the NHL quite a bit the past two seasons. Perhaps he can gain some stability by playing well during this month?

Kings release (interesting) statement on Voynov

Slava Voynov
AP
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The Los Angeles Kings released a rather interesting statement regarding Slava Voynov mere moments after the player’s agent shared news that he was self-departing to Russia.

Read the full release below, but here are a few interesting points if you’d rather just get the meat-and-potatoes:

  • The Kings claim that they “decided he would longer play for the team” sometime during his “period of detention.”
  • Los Angeles says they made Sept. 17 (the start of training camp) a deadline to “reach this outcome.”
  • Voynov’s decision to self-depart took away the need for the Kings to terminate his contract, according to the release.
  • They finish up by saying “The Kings organization will not tolerate domestic violence.”

Here is the full text:

On July 2, Slava Voynov entered a plea of no contest to domestic violence. Since that development, Mr. Voynov has been in the custody of the Seal Beach Detention Center and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During this period of detention, the Los Angeles Kings decided he would no longer play for the team. The method by which we would ensure this outcome was something we carefully considered and we established a deadline of September 17 – the beginning of our 2015-16 training camp – to reach this outcome. Recently it became evident to us that our conclusion to this process would be to terminate Mr. Voynov’s Standard Player’s Contract. However, Mr. Voynov’s announcement today of his intention to leave the United States and return to Russia makes the termination unnecessary.

As we have publicly stated since Mr. Voynov’s arrest last year, the Kings organization will not tolerate domestic violence. As part of that commitment, we will soon announce a series of new Conduct Awareness Training Initiatives that reflect the values and principles central to our franchise.

When news surfaced about Voynov’s decision, there was speculation that by self-departing, he may eventually be able to return to North America, possibly to resume an NHL career.

Is this the Kings’ way of saying that they wouldn’t employ Voynov if he returned in the future?

Voynov will leave Kings, return to Russia

Slava Voynov
AP
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By going with the option to “self-depart,” Slava Voynov is leaving the Los Angeles Kings and heading back to Russia.

Voynov released a statement via his agent, Rolland Hedges, sharing the stunning (yet perhaps foreseeable?) decision:

“Earlier today, I notified the National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association and the Los Angeles Kings of my decision to immediately begin the formal process of returning to Russia with my family. I sincerely apologize to those in and around the game of hockey who have been affected by my situation, and I also wish the players of the LA Kings success in the future.”

The OC Register’s Rich Hammond reports that this decision may allow Voynov to return to North America at some point in the future:

Also, Hammond notes that this isn’t quite a done deal, although the process is likely to be completed.

As far as Voynov’s money goes, it appears that the Kings are free of that burden:

As Puck Daddy reports, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirms that there will be “no cap charge” for the Kings.

Update: The Kings released a statement regarding Voynov, which you can read more about here.

Also, Hammond explains that Voynov is going to self-depart, not self-deport: