Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, who was named to the Olympic Athletes from Russia team, is interested in returning to the NHL, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has revealed many obstacles that now stand in his way to make that possible.
His contract in the KHL does include an out after the 2018 Olympics, and while the controversial player, who was caught in a domestic violence scandal in 2015, might try to return, many more things must need to be taken under consideration.
As Friedman writes in his latest 31 Thoughts on Sportsnet:
"First, will United States Immigration allow him entrance?
Second, the NHL has always reserved the right to extend its own punishment to Voynov, who pleaded no-contest to misdemeanor domestic violence in 2015.
Third, look at what’s happening in the world around us, especially in Hollywood. This has to be handled properly, which is why it should be a lengthy off-season discussion, not a rush before the playoffs."
TSN insider Darren Dreger also commented that Voynov's desire to return to the NHL will be a lengthy process. He added more on the Russian player's potential reinstatement during a TSN's Insider Trading segment last week:
"It first begins with the application for reinstatement. That's not expected to happen until the conclusion of his KHL season, so late April, perhaps early May. That would coincide with the expiration, the final year of his contract as well. It really gets complicated after that. There's not a lot the Los Angeles Kings, who retain his rights, can do in this process. He would have to meet with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman as part of a hearing and it's also expected that there could be additional discipline suspension applied upon his return. And what about the immigration issues? So there's a lot he has to go through to get back into the league."
Should he be allowed back?