The lawyer for Slava released a statement on behalf of his client Wednesday, announcing the Los Angeles Kings defenesman will leave the Hockey club and return to Russia.
“Earlier today, I notified the National Hockey League, the 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 also wish the Players of the LA Kings success in the future.”
The Kings released the following statement in response to Voynov’s announcement.
“On July 2, Slava Voynov entered a plea of no contest to domestic violence. Since that development, Mr. Voynov has been in the custody of the Seal Beach Detention Center and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During this period of detention, the Los Angeles Kings decided he would no longer play for the team. The method by which we would ensure this outcome was something we carefully considered and we established a deadline of September 17 – the beginning of our 2015-16 training camp – to reach this outcome. Recently it became evident to us that our conclusion to this process would be to terminate Mr. Voynov’s Standard Player’s Contract. However, Mr. Voynov’s announcement today of his intention to leave the United States and return to Russia makes the termination unnecessary.
As we have publicly stated since Mr. Voynov’s arrest last year, the Kings organization will not tolerate domestic violence. As part of that commitment, we will soon announce a series of new Conduct Awareness Training Initiatives that reflect the values and principles central to our franchise.”
He has been suspended by the NHL since his arrest in late October 2014. The Kings also suspended him this summer when he injured himself in an undisclosed non-hockey activity.
Voynov's decision to leave North America will clear roster space and salary cap room for the Kings, who signed him to a six-year, $25 million contract extension in June 2013.
The 25-year-old Voynov won the Stanley Cup as an NHL rookie with the Kings in 2012, and he was the No. 2 defenseman on Los Angeles' second championship team in 2014. He also played for Russia at the Sochi Olympics, establishing himself as one of the nation's top defensemen.