NHL pariah moves one step closer to complicated return – New York Post

Slava Voynov’s controversial path back to the NHL is being paved.

The former Kings defenseman’s petition to have his record dismissed was granted Sunday, as the LA Times first reported, after Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse.

Voynov, 28, was arrested at his Redonado Beach, Calif., home in October 2014 for allegedly choking his wife with both hands and kicking her five to six times on the ground. He originally pleaded no contest and served almost two months in jail in 2015, before the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement got him to voluntarily leave the country and return home, where he played in the KHL for three seasons and participated in the 2018 Olympics. The charges, though, have now been cleared.

The decision in the Los Angeles court hearing provides an opening for Voynov to re-enter the league. But with a lack of domestic violence policy in the NHL, Voynov’s fate is still up in the air.

After the original charges, Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL until the league conducted a formal investigation of the domestic violence charges. The Kings proceeded to place Voynov on their voluntary retirement list and terminated his six-year, $25 million contract — which was set to expire after next season. Because of this, the NHL says Los Angeles still holds his rights, and it could trade him if he is reinstated.

VoynovREUTERS

For now, he is still suspended but can request a hearing with commissioner Gary Bettman.

“Any decision to reinstate Slava Voynov into the league is in the hands of the NHL,” the Kings said in a statement to the LA Times. “It is premature to comment prior to the NHL’s ruling.”

In late May, Voynov reportedly sat down with Bettman and made his intentions of returning

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