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NHL suspends Slava Voynov through 2019-20 season

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The NHL suspended former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov through the 2019-20 season (both the regular season and playoffs) for “unacceptable off-ice conduct.” However, the league also revealed that “Voynov’s eligibility to play in the NHL will be restored (assuming good behavior) no later than July 1, 2020.”

That “unacceptable off-ice conduct” stems from Voynov’s domestic assault arrest in October 2014, which prompted an indefinite suspension at the time. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman described “acts of domestic violence directed at [Voynov’s] wife,” Marta Varlamova, in the league’s statement.

“I have determined that Player Slava Voynov engaged in acts of domestic violence directed at his wife,” Bettman wrote. “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.”

The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman reached out to the NHLPA regarding a possible appeal on the decision, with the union responding that they’re “reviewing the decision.” The Kings, who own Voynov’s NHL rights, provided a similar statement, via Dillman:

Voynov, 29, would be 30 at the time of his potential July 2020 reinstatement. Voynov last played six games for the Kings in 2014-15. While the Kings stood by the league when it came to suspending Voynov, they also handled the situation in questionable ways. That included strange salary cap-related comments from then-GM Dean Lombardi, and allowing him to skate with teammates. The latter action prompted the league to fine the Kings $100K for breaking the terms of Voynov’s suspension.

After leaving the U.S. while facing possible deportation related to his domestic assault charges, Voynov spent the 2015-16 through 2017-18 seasons with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL. Voynov won a gold medal with Russia during the 2018 Winter Olympics, and had hoped to return to the NHL during the 2018-19 season. Voynov was photographed with Vladimir Putin after winning that gold medal:

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Voynov applied for reinstatement back in November 2018, prompting what the league deemed “a fairly comprehensive investigation.”

As The Athletic’s Katie Strang detailed in June 2018, any potential suitor for Voynov would be wise to consider some of the graphic, disturbing details of the incident. Police reports indicated that Voynov “punched, kicked, and choked” his wife, while Strang’s account including additional disturbing details.

(Consider this a content warning, as this information can be graphic.)

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.”

These clubs should also know that Varlamova’s seven-year-old daughter was reportedly at home at the time of the incident, and apparently, it did not end there.

PHT will monitor this situation for updates, which might see a decision from the NHLPA regarding an appeal.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Matthew Barnaby pleads not guilty to five charges, including felony mischief

After being arrested last night, former NHL player and current TSN and ESPN analyst Matthew Barnaby pleaded not guilty to five charges today, according to the Buffalo News. Those five charges included: “felony criminal mischief, criminal contempt, criminal trespass, harassment and aggravated harassment.” The most serious charge is felony criminal mischief, which reportedly carries a maximum sentence of four years (if convicted).

Few details of the incident have emerged, other than the fact that the two alleged victims include Barnaby’s ex-wife and another adult. The Amherst, New York police did report that no one was injured and there was no physical contact during the incident, though.

Barnaby has been ordered not to come into contact with either of the victims, even through a third party, according to the report. Here is a little more information about the situation, via that Buffalo News story.

Farrell issued similar no-contact court orders prohibiting Barnaby from having any contact, even through a third party, with either victim in the case. The other victim is believed to be a friend, not a relative, of his estranged wife.

Rachel L. Newton, chief of the Erie County District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, requested $15,000 bail for Barnaby, who law-enforcement sources said was jailed overnight Friday.

Farrell, though, released Barnaby on his own recognizance, after his attorneys, David H. Elibol and Michael H. Kooshoian, cited their client’s strong ties to the Buffalo community.

Former NHL player Matthew Barnaby accused of domestic violence

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Former NHL player and current ESPN and TSN analyst Matthew Barnaby will reportedly be arraigned on multiple charges of domestic violence on Saturday, according to the Buffalo News.

Barnaby has been charged with “criminal mischief, criminal trespass, harassment, criminal contempt and aggravated harassment after a domestic-related incident involving two victims” according to the Amherst, New York police department. The alleged incident happened at 6:15 p.m. ET tonight and Barnaby is reportedly expected to spend the night in jail.

Many people associate Barnaby with his time spent as a pest with the Buffalo Sabres. He skated with the team from 1992-93 through part of the 1998-99 season, with his highest point coming in the 1997-98 playoffs. He scored seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 15 games during that playoff run.

Overall, Barnaby played in 834 regular season games, suiting up for the Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. He scored 300 points and racked up 2,562 penalty minutes in that span.