Slava Voynov seeking reinstatement by NHL after domestic violence conviction

Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, suspended indefinitely by the NHL after a domestic violence incident to which he pleaded guilty, has applied for reinstatement, the league confirmed Thursday.

“We’re in the process of an intense factual investigation. I’m not in a position to give a timeline. When the investigation is done, commissioner (Gary) Bettman will deal with his application for reinstatement,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Fourth Period during a media event ahead of the Panthers-Jets international game Wednesday in Helsinki.

Voynov pleaded no-contest to a misdemeanor charge after an incident on Oct. 19, 2014, in which a police report, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, alleged that he choked Marta Varlamova with both hands, repeatedly pushed her to the ground and kicked her five to six times on the ground.

The NHL suspended Voynov the morning after his arrest, and the Kings terminated his six-year, $25 million contract and placed him on their voluntary retirement list. 

Voynov spent nearly two months in jail after his guilty plea. Following his release from jail, he voluntarily left the U.S., avoiding proceedings with U.S. immigration authorities, and spent three seasons in Russia’s KHL. He also was part of a gold-medal-winning Russian hockey team at the 2018 Olympics.

According to the Times, Voynov’s misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction was expunged July 2, the day his three years of probation ended, and he then took the first step toward reinstatement by meeting with Bettman. The league then began an investigation into the incident and its aftermath.

If reinstated by the NHL, which has no formal domestic violence policy, Voynov’s rights remain with the Kings because he’s on their voluntary retirement list.