With all the talk around the NHL these days of former superstar Ilya Kovalchuk making his return to North America this offseason following five seasons in the KHL, fans and media have seemingly forgotten about the NHL return of former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov.
You may recall that the Russian blue liner was arrested back in 2014 on domestic abuse charges after he allegedly got into an altercation with his wife following a dispute. Voynov eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He was subsequently suspended and had his contract terminated by the Kings for breach of conduct. Since then Voynov has continued his hockey career in his native Russia with SKA St. Petersburg, along with the aforementioned Kovalchuk.
Now 28 years old, Voynov is a Gagarin Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, in addition to being a Stanley Cup champion. So, what’s next? Well, according to a report from KHL insider Aivis Kalnins, Voynov is seeking an NHL return with his former club:
Appears as the Los Angeles Kings are exploring options to bring back Slava Voynov from the KHL.
Wow… talk about a controversial move! There are huge segments of the Kings fanbase that absolutely DESPISE Voynov for what he did to his wife. Now the team is considering bringing him back into the fold? Crazy…
For what it’s worth, it doesn’t appear that the two sides are close to reaching an agreement, but rather they’re laying the groundwork for a potential deal later this offseason:
Apparently Rob Blake has told Russian media that it's too early talk about a possible contract until the legal issues have been taken care of.
It has been also reported few weeks ago that Voynov's agent has been in touch with the NHL.
So… what do you think, Kings fans? Would you take Voynov back on your team? Will his presence drive you away from the team?
The big, right shooting, offensive defenseman just managed nine goals and 23 points in 39 regular season games with St. Petersburg this past season, but put up a remarkable 11 goals and 37 points in 48 games last season. It's clear that the guy has all the tools to be a good NHL defenseman, but will he be able to shed his past and make a new name for himself?
Source: Aivis Kalnins
Photo Credit: Zuma Press