NHL conducts ‘investigation’ as Voynov applies for reinstatement


While unveiling tentative plans for more Global Series games overseas next season, the NHL provided an update: defenseman Slava Voynov has applied for reinstatement into the league.

Voynov, 28, was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Oct. 21, 2014 stemming from domestic violence charges, bringing his days with the Los Angeles Kings to an end, at least temporarily.

“Mr. Voynov has applied for consideration of reinstatement,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said via NHL.com. “We’re in the process of what will be a fairly comprehensive investigation, a factual investigation into the events surrounding initially his arrest and his ultimate departure from North America.

“I’m not in a position to give a timeline on that investigation. When that investigation is done, the Commissioner will deal with his application for reinstatement.”

From 2015-16 to 2017-18, Voynov played for St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL. He also won a gold medal with Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics, opening the door for this photo op, via Getty:

via Getty

Voynov hasn’t played so far in 2018-19, likely because he’s keeping the door open in hopes of an NHL return.

The league recently suspended Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson 27 games for a domestic incident it labeled “unacceptable off-ice conduct.” That suspension was appealed down to 18 games.

It’s unclear how Voynov’s situation may compare to Watson’s, at least once the NHL completes its “investigation.” Again, the league didn’t give much of an indication about when decisions will be made, one way or another.

Back in June, The Athletic’s Katie Strang went over some of the details surrounding the charges Voynov has faced. Here’s an unsettling excerpt (though you should read Strang’s full article):

Those clubs must remember that, according to the police report obtained by The Athletic, Voynov and Varlamova got into an argument that turned physical, and the details are grotesque. A statement included within that report states that, while attending a team Halloween party, the two began arguing, during which Voynov removed [Varlamova’s] costume glasses and stomped on them in front of the guests. When they continued arguing outside the venue, Voynov “punched her in the left jaw with a closed fist.”

Court documents detail how the fight continued when the two arrived home and the contents are equally grim. In one motion, filed on behalf of the District Attorney’s office, it states that Voynov “wrapped both of his hands around Ms. Varlamova’s neck and began to squeeze, making it difficult for her to breathe.” Voynov, according to the motion, “continued to choke her while repeatedly pushing her to the floor of the bedroom,” telling her to “get out,” that there would be “no more money for her,” and that she would be “gone.”