After a missing nearly the entire 2014-15 season due to his legal issues, Slava Voynov has opted to "self-deport" and head back to Russia.
Voynov’s agent, Rolland Hedges, released the following statement by Voynov regarding Voynov’s decision:
<blockquote>"Earlier today, I notified the National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association and the Los Angeles Kings of my decision to immediately begin the formal process of returning to Russia with my family. I sincerely apologize to those in and around the game of hockey who have been affected by my situation, and I wish the players of the LA Kings success in the future."</blockquote>
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On Oct. 20, 2014, Voynov was indefinitely suspended by the NHL following a domestic violence arrest. Voynov had been accused of hitting, kicking and choking his wife, Marta Varlamova, following an arguement. Voynov pleaded no contest to the charges, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and received three years of probation. Following his release on July 7, Voynov was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Department and was at risk of deportation.
Voynov was set to make $19.25 million over the remaining four years on his contract. The Kings are now no longer obligated to pay out the contract.
The Kings currently have 13 NHL forwards, seven NHL defensemen and two goaltenders under contract. Los Angeles have $4.8 million in cap space, according to General Fanager.
According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Kings will not terminate his contract, and will maintain the rights to Voynov. Johnston also noted that the Kings do not plan on having Voynov return to the team.
The #LAKings say that terminating Slava Voynov's contract is "unnecessary" because he's returning to Russia. They'll retain his NHL rights.