The saga continues...
Late on Wednesday night, the NHLPA filed an appeal on behalf of defenseman Slava Voynov following suspension imposed by the NHL after it determined he committed acts of domestic violence. The appeal will be heard by an impartial arbitrator.
On Tuesday, the league announced that Voynov is ineligible to return to the NHL next season, the earlier he’ll be able to re-enter the will be for the 2020-21 season.
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, but the Russian blue liner is hoping it won't be as long as the NHL has determined.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that he determined Voynov engaged in acts of domestic violence directed at his wife.
Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson was suspended 27 games back in September for unacceptable off-ice conduct following an investigation and hearing after he pleaded no contest in July to a charge of domestic assault stemming from an incident in June. Arbitrator Shyam Das reduced the suspension to 18 games on appeal.
Voynov is hoping to get a similar treatment. A hearing date has not yet been set.
He last played an NHL game on Oct. 19, 2014. He's spent the last three campaigns in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg.