Following Wednesday’s announcement of the departure of president of hockey operations Trevor Linden from the Vancouver Canucks, attention has now turned to who could potentially fill the now-vacant role, and it seems like an entire plan might be already in motion, not only to find Linden's replacement, but also to bring a controversial player into the mix.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Dean Lombardi, former GM of the Los Angeles Kings , has emerged among the list of candidates who could potentially join the Canucks front office.
Lombardi led the Kings for more than a decade, taking over as general manager in 2006 and guiding the club to two Stanley Cup championships before being let go in April 2017.
And it seems that if Lombardi is indeed taking the job in Vancouver, he could bring one of his former players with him. The controversial Russian defenseman, Slava Voynov.
While some may believe that Lombardi's reputation took a hit in his handling of Voynov after the defenceman faced domestic-abuse charges, many wonder now what the fan base would think if he were to bring him back into the National Hockey League, and on his new team. Back in the day when Lombardi and Voynov were associated, the defender was suspended but the then-Kings GM allowed him to practise with the team, a situation that led to a $100,000 fine levied against the Kings.
Voynov expressed the desire to return to the NHL following the end of the season in the Kontinental Hockey League. If Lombardi convinces the Canucks to hire him, he might go a step further and persuade them on the talented, 28-year-old, right-shot defender. Voynov has not played an NHL game since Oct. 19, 2014.
According once again to Friedman, word is that Voynov met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHLPA back in May. There was no decision on any further discipline, but it's believed that an additional suspension is coming before he can play, however, no one is giving any indication of what that will be.
As Friedman mentioned in his segment on Sportsnet 650, the blowback would be huge in Vancouver if Lombardi is brought on board and brings Voynov onto the roster.