Russian defenseman Slava Voynov might have caught a lucky break when it came to his suspension in the NHL, he didn’t get as lucky when it came time to find a team that would sign him to have him back in the league in January 2020.
In May, arbitrator Shyam Das upheld NHL commission Gary Bettman’s decision that Voynov be suspended for the equivalent of one NHL season, but found that he is to be credited with having already served 41 games of such suspension during the 2018-19 regular season.Therefore, Voynov would play for an NHL team early in January of 2020, far in advance of the trade deadline.
However on Friday, it was announced that he has decided to stay in Russia, inking a one-year deal with Avangard, per KHL insider Igor Erenko.
While he could try to sign back in NHL after that deal, fans across the league will be pleased to know he would return for now.
The suspension came after it was alleged that Voynov caused “great bodily harm” to his wife Marta Varlamova in a domestic argument. Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL and he eventually had his contract terminated by the Los Angeles Kings.
Officers testified that Varlamova told police Voynov punched, kicked, and choked her, and that her face was cut after Voynov pushed her into a flat-screen television. The officer also testified to seeing a laceration above Varlamova’s left eye, blood streaming, and red marks on her neck. Voynov’s attorney claimed that police misunderstood Varlamova because she doesn’t speak English and maintained she “fell down.”
In 2015, Voynov pleaded no contest to the charges and served 90 days in Seal Beach Police Detention Center in California. Upon his release he returned to Russia, signing a deal with the KHL powerhouse SKA Saint Petersburg. After three seasons and two championships in Russian, including a gold medal win at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Voynov was seeking a return to the NHL, however, it will have to wait, especially now that he has committed to Avangard.