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Voynov Should Not Return to the NHL

For years we have read or heard the phrase, “sports is my escape from the real world.” For many sports fans watching it, reading about it, writing about it or listening to sports talk radio is a nice reprieve from the office or life in general.

It still is that way for many people, and it should be. Being a fan is supposed to be fun, but sometimes it can be equally frustrating depending on the direction of the team you cheer for.

However, I believe we can’t completely separate sports from the real world anymore.

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Sports is one of the few things that unites people from all walks of life. If you are an Edmonton Oilers fan it doesn’t matter what your job is, your ethnicity or your gender. You all cheer together. Look at the diversity of fans who congregate at Jurassic Park for a Toronto Raptors playoff game. Watch them erupt in joyous unison after a clutch shot. While racism still exists in our society, sporting events often show people of different colour hugging, smiling and enjoying the journey together.

It is wonderful.

However, sports, and how they are covered has opened up opportunities where real life and sports need to intersect.

One of those examples is former NHL defenceman Vyacheslav Voynov.

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Yesterday arbitrator Shyam Das upheld NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s decision that Voynov should be suspended for the equivalent of one NHL season, but Das found Voynov should be credited with having already served 41 games of the suspension last season. So Voynov will be eligible to return midway through next season.

The Los Angeles Kings own his rights and sent out a press release soon after Das’ ruling was announced.

“Today the NHL arbitrator rendered a final decision on further discipline to Slava Voynov. From our perspective, the player will not be playing for the Kings. We will now determine the impact of the arbitrator’s decision on our rights to the player and consider our options going forward.”

Voynov won’t be playing for the Kings, but will another NHL team acquire his rights and sign him to an NHL contract?

Before we discuss that, let’s look at the situation that led to Voynov being suspended by the NHL in 2014 for domestic abuse.

Voynov spent almost two months in jail after pleading no contest to corporal injury against a spouse. Upon his release from jail he was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but rather than attend immigration proceedings he elected to return to Russia. He played three seasons for the KHL’s St. Petersburg’s SKA. Last year he didn’t play anywhere as he sat out his suspension.

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Reading he plead no contest and went to jail is one thing. Reading what he did to get put in jail is much different.

Katie Strang outlined the viciousness of Voynov’s attack on his then-girlfriend, now wife, Marta Varlamov in an outstanding article for the Athletic last June. You can read the entire piece here. I urge you to read it. It is wonderful journalism, but also heart-breakingly painful to read how awful one human could treat another.

A few lines really stood out to me.

“A statement included within that report states that, while attending a team Halloween party, the two began arguing, during which Voynov removed [Varlamova’s] costume glasses and stomped on them in front of the guests. When they continued arguing outside the venue, Voynov “punched her in the left jaw with a closed fist.”

Strang continued to outline what the police report said.

The two returned home and their argument continued. “Voynov wrapped both of his hands around Ms. Varlamova’s neck and began to squeeze, making it difficult for her to breathe.” Voynov, according to the motion, “continued to choke her while repeatedly pushing her to the floor of the bedroom,” telling her to “get out,” that there would be “no more money for her,” and that she would be “gone.”

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According to the motion, Voynov then “kicked her five or six times all over her body” and when she attempted to stand he “pushed her down directly into the bottom corner of the flat screen television that was mounted to the bedroom wall.” Varlamova sustained “a head laceration that resulted in severe bleeding” and throughout all of this “she repeatedly screamed for him to stop.”

Strang obtained 911 transcripts of a call from a neighbour worried about a women screaming and not being treated well.

I encourage you read the entire story.

ABUSE…

Even in 2019 when we are a bit more open to discuss domestic or sexual abuse than previous generations, when you read the details of what Voynov did it is much worse than the picture most of us have in our minds when we think what abuse looks like. I believe if you’ve never beaten your child or spouse (man or woman), or been a victim of abuse, it is hard to truly imagine what abuse really looks like.

It is demeaning. It is dangerous. It is ugly. And it is fucking deplorable.

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But sadly, it still occurs far too often. Children are abused. Women are abused. Men are abused. The elderly are abused. No group is immune to it.

While men are still more likely to be the abuser, there are many cases of women abusing their partners or spouses.

If we never discuss it, I doubt it will diminish.

It is an uncomfortable discussion and there are many aspects to consider.

Voynov’s case is in the spotlight, and NHL fans can’t just ignore it.

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Some don’t want to talk about it. Some feel it isn’t their business, that it is between Voynov and his wife.

I respect that, but I think it is worthy of discussion.

If we want change in society, then we have to discuss uncomfortable things.

Reading what Voynov did to Varlamova made me sick. I can’t imagine punching someone you love in the face. Or choking them, or kicking them repeatedly. And the scary thing is it wasn’t the first time. He not only felt it was okay to physically abuse her, he felt it was okay to do it repeatedly according to witness testimony.

But Voynov is far the only abuser in the sporting world. The statistics tell us there are likely abusers among fans, bloggers, media, players, and NHL staff. We don’t want to think about it, but we shouldn’t pretend those people don’t exist.

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It is an epidemic in society that needs to stop, and if the sporting world has to be the leader, then so be it. We should welcome the responsibility.

WHAT NOW?

The Los Angeles Kings said they will not sign Voynov. Will another team trade for his rights this summer?

Yesterday on Twitter I asked people a trio of questions.

Has Voynov been punished enough for abuse?
Does he deserve a second chance?
Would you be okay if your NHL team signed him?

The results had no middle ground. You either thought yes, he deserves a second chance, or you were adamant no NHL team should sign him.

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I believe in second chances, but the person has to show remorse, and also prove they have changed. How much therapy has he done? Did he go with his wife? Has he spoke publicly about what he learned and how he has changed. For me, it couldn’t just be a blind “he deserves a second chance.”

If a team signs him they better have a good PR plan of how this will work, because there will be a backlash, and rightfully so.

Voynov hasn’t played in the NHL for essentially five seasons. He played six games in 2014/2015, before the aforementioned attack occurred. But after he spent almost two months in jail, he has worked. He was employed by the KHL. He was given a second chance and he made a good living doing so.

Does the NHL owe him a second chance?

If I was a owner of an NHL team I would not sign him.

It is my business and as a business owner you have the right to choose who you employ. It would send a strong message to your staff, players and fans that you don’t condone abuse.

Companies outside the sporting world do this. They have a code of conduct, and if you don’t adhere to it, you won’t work there anymore.

Why can’t NHL teams have the same?

They should simply take a stand and say we won’t employ people who abuse their spouse or children.

If you choose to abuse someone to the despicable level that Voynov did then you won’t be employed by our team any longer or in the future.

It is very straightforward.

And this isn’t about past cases. What happened in the past is irrelevant to me. I don’t care what discipline the NHL handed out in the 1980s, 1990s or even in 2010

Just like the rules have changed and evolved on the ice, it is time the NHL evolves and changes off of the ice.

I don’t believe in 2019 we should say, “stick to sports.”

Professional sports are one of the most followed activities in the world. People of all ages, races and walks of life follow it closely.

If the NHL takes a hard stand against domestic abuse, maybe it will make someone think twice about abusing someone in the future.

Maybe it won’t stop them, but at least the NHL will have created a new code of conduct.

I hope Voynov and his family find forgiveness for each other. I have a lot of empathy for his family and I hope he has stopped abusing his wife.

But I wouldn’t have him on my team. I wonder how many owners and GMs will feel the same?

Recently by Jason Gregor:


    • Rob...

      Stop it. Attacking anyone in anything but self-defense or in competition where the risk is accepted by both parties is wrong (Boxing, MMA,…). Physically attacking someone of either sex because you’re mad makes you scum. It doesn’t matter who is bigger or stronger. We need to teach people not to do it and to hell with anybody’s old school code that outlines when it’s OK to break the law and commit assault.

    • OilBlood

      He is garbage for what he did, but, he plead no contest, went to jail and is married to her. I don’t understand what more you want, guy did his time, the nhl banned him for a year, it’s over if a team wants him that’s there choice, no need to have great PR and make sure he shows remorse.

      It’s done, he did his time, it’s over.

  • Field Marshal

    Great piece, Gregor. Agree 100%.

    Not sure how anyone could even share a dressing room or a cab with this waste of skin. Hopeful that no owner signs him, but realistically, I think it’ll happen.

  • chezzychez

    1000% no thanks. The kind of details that came out on this should fuel a zero tolerance policy for this crap in the NHL. It’s a privilege to play hockey for a living, especially in the best league in the world. You have to be a role model to not only kids but to adults as well.

  • jesse says yep

    “Some don’t want to talk about it. Some feel it isn’t their business, that it is between Voynov and his wife.”
    The problem with all three of these thoughts are that abuse victims rarely step forward without help and a support system to allow them to work through the emotional torment that comes with physical abuse. And since we know that abuse often escalates, standing aside knowing that someone is being victimized is only a step above being the actual abuser.
    For me, being a pro athlete is a privilege that not many get to enjoy, and certain personal acts should negate your right to that privilege.

  • TKB2677

    I am a person that believes in second chances but to get a second chance, you as a person need to own up to your mistake, show you are remorseful, show you have learned from it and do things to try to make up for it. What he did was horrible, he can’t take it back but he could try to do something to at least atone to some degree for the mistake.
    BUT.

    Instead of facing punishment, he ran and hid from it in Russia where apparently they didn’t give a damn what he did. He comes back to the NHL, the NHL steps up and gives him a year suspension. Does he accept it? Nope. He fights to get it reduced. He did what he did. There is proof he did what he did. He ran to Russia to escape punishment because he did what he did. So none of his actions say that he is remotely remorseful and deserves a second chance. I hope that the league takes a stand and no team signs him but sadly, I think some team will. Please don’t be the Oilers.

    • Hero Sandwich

      With ya bud. People make mistakes and drunk people make more. Im sure he was drinking at this party and who knows what was said between the two but i imagine the verbal attacks went both ways. Then he crossed a line… a very BIG line and physically attacked her. He is a professional hockey player in great shape, that’s not even close to fair.

      From here he could have went one of two ways…
      Owned up to the mistakes he made, seek counselling and denounced his actions. Maybe speak at engagements against domestic abuse and serve his suspension head on. essentially take the public beat down for the private one he delivered. Admit the mistake, atone for the mistake and become a better person for it. This way may pave the way for the privilege of playing in the nhl and being some small kids hero again.
      or…
      Run to the KHL, make tonnes of money. Try to fight the suspension and release a half hearted press release apology. In this case go fist himself with a pineapple and stay in the khl.
      Voynov can piss right off and I hope no team thinks that having this trash pile on their team makes them better

      • Oilerz4life

        The Oilers have enough problems as it is, and as frustrating as management is, the Oilers do amazing community work. No way will this guy get the chance to be once an Oiler always an Oiler. With all the culture change buzz talk there is no chance. Can’t really see him finding any traction in the room around Connor, Drai, Nuge or anyone. Nurse? I don’t think so. Not going to happen with the Oilers.

  • Serious Gord

    Jason this is a highly sensitive issue. You obviously agree.

    Using curse words is demeaning and distracting.

    As is the inappropriate description of domestic violence being an “epidemic”. It is not.

    It is endemic. A good journo like you should be more careful.

    As for denying voynov from making a living:

    We are a country founded on the Christian ethic of forgiveness.

    We do extraordinary things of forgiveness – from letting terrorists who murder allied soldiers will free to people convicted and imprisoned for impaired vehicular homicide to play pro hockey again.

    Are you saying in the specific case of domestic violence people should forever be denied the means to making a living?

    Seems pretty extreme to me by comparison.

    That noted:

    If the league wishes to not employ players convicted of domestic violence that’s their choice. Just as a pro league should be able to terminate a player for wearing piggy socks and kneeling when the anthem is played.

    Further, as domestic violence is endemic, there are lots more Voynovs in the league who just haven’t been caught.

    And there is a long history of stars who abused their wives – Bobby hull and Tim Horton being two. (Stephen brunt has hinted that Bobby Orr’s dad was abusive).

    • chezzychez

      This should never be a water under the bridge scenario though. If he wants to play in the league he needs to own up to what he’s done and seek forgiveness. You shouldn’t be able to just hide for 5 years, come back and get a job like nothing happened. People make mistakes and are going to continue to make mistakes, but we don’t have any reason to believe that Voynov is remorseful and is trying to be better because of it.

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      Forgiveness? Really?

      Do we let the murderer avoid jail time because he’s sorry? Or because he’s not the only murderer in the world? They are forever denied a means to make a living, and even if they’re not they are stigmatized for the rest of their life by the rest of society. Your examples are not accurate.

      Do not all businesses have a code of conduct? A set of rules? Is the NHL any different?

      As enlightened beings, we are capable of making decisions. He made the wrong one.

      And no, epidemic is the right word, when 1 in 4 women on this planet are beaten or sexually abused.

      Check yourself, son. The standard on a beating like this has to be hard, fast and as unforgiving as the act itself.

      Well done, Jason.

      • Serious Gord

        Murderers are NOT denied the ability to make a living once they have served their sentence. MacT was convicted of vehicular homicide – murder in the second degree.

        Perhaps you should check yourself…

        And you should read my comments more carefully. And look up the definition of epidemic. It IS endemic as you note with that stat.

        • TKB2677

          As I said in my comment, everyone deserves a second chance. Where I think you are off base is the guy has gone out of his way to escape atoning for his crime. He was transfer to US customs but rather face his punish, he went back to Russia. Then when he decides to come back to the NHL, they give him a punishment and he fights that as well. If the guy had any remorse, he would take his suspension and once its up, go look for an NHL job.

          What’s worse about your comment is you make it sound like this ” poor guy ” was being unjustly blocked and not allowed to make a living. The guy wasn’t eating out of garbage cans living on the streets. He was making MILLIONS of dollars in Russia.

        • wiseguy

          I rarely agree with Gord but in this case I do. Voynov pled no contest which means he owned up to it, and served his appropriate punishment as dished out by the courts. His avoiding the hearing for US customs was because he was not contesting their action to remove him from the USA for committing a crime under his work Visa. He left voluntarily. None of this shows a man with no remorse but one who accepts the accusations and punishment imposed.
          Our society is guilty on “do the crime you do the time”. However, once the punishment is served, your debt to society is done. Whether a business wants to employ you or not is up to them. It’s odd how you crucify the NHL if they let Voynov play but would praise a business for giving a convicted thief / murderer / gang banger a job upon his release. If a released felon, even a reformed one, cannot get a job / housing / etc. he would more likely return to a life of crime. We would criticize those businesses who are too concerned about their image to take a chance and give the downtrodden a leg up.
          Obviously Voynov doesn’t have the same “finding food/shelter” issues if he couldn’t play in the nhl but the same principles apply. If you disagree with the severity of the 2 month sentence that is an issue you have worth the judicial system. MacT killed someone with poor judgement and driving while drunk. Most applauded Sather for giving him a second chance when Boston cut him. I know we all like to be the white knight in defence of women, but is Kim Radley’s life worth less? Given that second chance, MacT turned his life around and has been a good representative for the NHL. Imagine if the NHL just banned him… no Hockey Canada Olympics/ world championships, no 2006 Stanley cup final…

    • BasementDweller

      “We are a country founded on the Christian ethic of forgiveness.” I guess I missed that part while getting my degree in Canadian history.

      You can forgive all you want, you can point out that there “lots more Voynovs in the league who just haven’t been caught”, you can think he has a right to earn a living playing hockey….. none of that means that he’s not a POS, and any GM who signs him is a POS too.

      If Jason should “be more careful” with his word choice in articles you should be more careful with your posts, lest you like a defender of abusers.

      • Serious Gord

        You didn’t take Canadian history obviously. Go read up on the role of the queen and the Anglican Church.

        Again another poster who doesn’t read a comment carefully. Nowhere did I say he should be allowed to play in the nhl.

        I AM a proponent of forgiveness when merited. I am a Canadian after all.

    • Jason Gregor

      If one word in an article of 1700 words distracts you. I can’t help that.
      And it is not endemic. Here is the definition of endemic:
      –belonging or native to a particular people or country.

      Are you saying only athetes are abusers? Or only Canadians? Or Russians?

      And I wrote, which you clearly choose to not read, that I don’t care what happened in the past. Previous abusers being allowed to play in the NHL means nothing. Times change. The league can evolve. Slavery used to be legal in some states. It isn’t now. The NHL has an opportunity to change who they want in the league. Simple.

      • Serious Gord

        No you are wrong again. Endemic means “… regularly found”. As in ‘all around us.”

        Epidemic means “… a sudden widespread occurrence”

        Epidemic implies that it is something that is growing in occurrence. It is not.

        Epidemic is an alarmist term and an exaggeration certainly in this case.

        Words matter – especially in matters like this. And I would also point out that your use of the F word was very deliberate and pointed for effect – as you must certainly agree any column can’t be judged just by word count.

        • KootenayDan

          You sir and your comments are not being well received by the majority. Identify yourself put yourself out there amongst the masses like these hockey writers do everyday if you think you have all the answers. That was a terrific article very informative and a good read and if your offended by that one word in today’s world you need to get out of the old folks home for a spell and get some fresh air.

        • Jason Gregor

          Actually Gord you are wrong. Because you say it doesn’t make it right. Statistics say one in 4 women are subjected to abuse. That is a massive number. That would be over 4 million Canadian women, and I’m rounding down.

          Experts on domestic abuse called it an Epidemic, but you still think it isn’t. Good to know.
          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/08/violence-against-women-epidemic-levels-worldwide-say-experts/

          The one thing you were correct on is I did use the F word to be deliberate and to make a point. Abuse is deplorable. It happens too often and it is happening more than ever. That is why it is an epidemic.

          It is easy for you to try and down play it when you post anonymously isn’t it. Sad state. But, hey, feel free to keep telling yourself it isn’t an epidemic. Go tell that to the million of women world wide being abused. And maybe have the courage to tell them using your real name.

          • Cujo

            Hi Jason,

            Gord is actually right, in a medical sense on the usage of the words. A disease goes from an epidemic to an endemic problem, it doesn’t mean it is less serious.

            You are also right in your usage of the words, as epidemic in a vernacular sense can be used to indicate “wide ranging” or “extensive”.

            However, you are being an idiot(medical definition) when you insinuate that Gord doesn’t think it is a serious problem as no where in his discourse does he say that or insinuate that.

            Though you are right to be annoyed by someone being pedantic on an issue that is obviously quite emotional issue for you. Emotional appeal sells newspapers and political campaigns, but seldom actually solves the problem.

            Be best.

    • chickenStew

      “I get frustrated with bluster”
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    • scott5017

      Gord why you still come here is baffling. At this point it can only be to get a rise from people, which is basically trolling. How miserable are you? Seriously, your life must be so empty i feel bad for you, almost.

    • polsy

      Breaking a rule of mine here, making an online comment. This is the area of a website where all the false academics love to make an appearance. The standard approach is to gang up with the biggest voice to protect ego. Hilarious when one man is able to make a well thought out and backed argument, and the response is a rally of the easily misled. A couple times a year I see one person able to dismantle a group in comments. Congratulations Gord, you’ve done just that. People may not see it now, but in pragmatic and reasonable mind states they will.

      To everyone choosing the moral high ground here, remember this: Life is messy. We all know right from wrong, then before you know it a series of events happen, and there you are wondering how you could have just done what you did. I know I have, so I choose forgiveness.

      And the correct word here is Endemic. Scream and yell and only post the half of your google search results that support your mistake if you want, but Gord got you all here. I do hope reason can win out. Accepting a mistake on a word choice is a great place to start. You wouldn’t want to go the rest of your life not getting work with anything that involves words because just once you made a mistake with a word, would you?

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I cannot, for the life of me, see any fanbase being on board with their team bringing in this piece of garbage. I can’t see how any team could justify bringing him in, I can’t see any fanbase accepting it, and I can’t see him changing. I’ll pass thanks

  • JayTee

    Second chances are deserved, but in terms of the person showing remorse and showing they have changed their ways.
    My mom divorced my dad because he was abusive and he beat her. My dad apologized and showed remorse for what he had done. First and most importantly to my mom, but also to my siblings and I.
    Should the Oilers pursue Voynov? As a hockey player, yes. A human being, A LOT of discussion would have to take place with Slava to ensure he has become a better person and the acts he conducted were of past nature and he is no longer that person.

      • wiseguy

        Now you’re bringing the discussion into the realm of justice reform. If you do not believe in reform or rehabilitation, every criminal – shoplifting, drug possession, prostitution, soliciting prostitution, drug dealing, assault, manslaughter- should be locked up permanently. There should be no rehabilitation programs as they “do not change”. No carrot of early parole or release for doing the treatment programs because well… they “do not change, They escalate “

  • smiliegirl15

    I was watching a TV show last night almost exactly like this event. It was a real life crime show. Her new husband beat her up on their wedding night. A short two months later, he killed her.
    There would be no place for him in my organization either.

  • Corbs

    I can’t believe anyone would be ok with giving this piece of garbage a second chance. I don’t believe in second chances. How about don’t be an abusive piece of garbage the first time. He shouldn’t have the right to make a living. He probably shouldn’t have the right to live at all after what he did.

  • Randaman

    Totally different situation but wouldn’t the thought of collusion on the part of owners not to sign him be brought up. Kappernick comes to mind. I believe he came to a settlement with the NFL. Don’t get me wrong here. I agree he shouldn’t even be allowed in North America as far as I’m concerned

  • I 100% agree that every abuser should be punished, and not all of them deserves a second chance. I also believe that everyone deserves a fair trial. You talking about a fine journalism that bringing up “facts” from police report, which have not been proven in court of law. Police statement is one side of the story, and not always correct. It is unfair to paint a picture based on accusations. Varlamova said that Voinov abused her on more than one occasion in her report, but do we know for sure that she just did not said it in the heat of the moment? We all tend to feel bad for victims and agree with much of what is said by them, but people not always telling the truth. I understand when they both were in USA and she pulled back reports and did not want to testify, Varlamova might have been scared, feared for her life etc. Again, just speculations. Now she is back home surrounded by family and friends, yet chose to marry Voinov.
    Something happened in that house for sure, but what exactly only two people know. And those two people seem to be happily married now. I understand that he is a sports figure and has to accept and answer for his actions, but in reality what kind of statement would be enough for any of us to accept it?
    Do I want him on my team? I don’t know. If the person whom he abused has forgiven him, who am I to judge? Unless they both come up and tell what really happened there and where they are now, we all just going to keep on speculating and have a bitter tastes in our mouth every time Voinov’s name comes up.

  • Vanoil

    Ultimately hockey is a business in a closed environment. If you were so lucky as to be one of the owners and chose not to hire this person (or any other, think Colin Kaapernick), it only takes one other to do so and reap the benefits at your expense. Even worse, if you collude with others not to hire the said player, you depress his cost,leaving the potential return to the savvy business person even greater. In a word you wouldn’t be a wise businessman, and likely wouldn’t be in business very long, if that was the enshrined process of your business’ decision making. You would be competed out of the market, even in a closed environment like professional sports. Beyond that, this is what you have rules and regulations for. Not only was he charged criminally, and served his sentence; he was administratively punished by the League and the suspension upheld. At this point, you would be negligent as a businessman (or as a Director held accountable to his shareholders) if you took that position.

    • gwright

      I don’t agree with the general premise that a person should disregard the morality of making a specific decision, but even if I did, your point is easily refutable. A director accountable to his shareholders would be negligent to hire an employee whose hiring would negatively affect his business. And hiring a former abuser would probably negatively affect jersey/ticket/merchandise sales. Even if his on-ice play helped the team, that probably would not be a net positive affect on the value/profit of the business.

  • El Connor mcdaddy

    No team is going to trade for him. His NHL career is over. No team would risk the fan backlash, the locker room destruction, or even the fact that he hasn’t played NHL hockey in 4 years. This clown should rot in prison, and definitely should NOT be in the NHL ever again.

    • wiseguy

      You realize that punishing him by denying him “the privilege” of an income also punishes the victim of the crime, his wife, as she benefits from his income as well.

  • Archie45

    voynov(not capitalized) is a piece of cow poop….in the old days, another guy would of taken the piece of poop behind the barn and taught the gutless weasel a real lesson….May he never be seen again on the ice, anywhere….I Pray for his better half.

  • A forgiving second chance is “prove to me you understand and want to change and i’ll help you turn yourself around” not “I don’t care what you did, just play for me”. If a team signs him both the team and himself need to work together off the ice to change him otherwise he’ll stay the same scumbag he was 5 years ago.

  • ed from edmonton

    1. So I understand that Voynov is still in Russia, do we know if he would be allowed in the USA or Canada? My understanding of a plea of “no contest” is you are not admitting guilt but are saying I have no defence and will accept whatever judgement is done. There is no such thing in Canadian law, you are either guilty or not.
    2. It would be a PR nightmare for any team to hire this guy. But I don’t think it would be legal for the league to mandate it.
    3. Some may draw a parrallel with Mact’s situation where driving drunk resulted in a death or Heatly driving at a dangerous speed also resulting in a death.

  • Hemmertime83

    Let the justice system handle crimes. I’m fine with signing him. If you say domestic abuse means no playing for your team but then sign a guy who chokes a cabbie or has a coke bust you essentially are saying that those are fine in your eyes. Slippery slope

  • I read the description and agree it was terrible and he is probably not a good person. That being said, I don’t think it is any of our business. He served his time. She has not only forgiven him but married him, and yet society feels the need to further punish both of them.

    If he as dualities a man, robbed a bank or killed a stranger he is welcomed back. Tyson raped someone, served his time and then was welcomed back. I don’t think sports governing bodies should be involves in criminal punishment. If it happened during or at a sporting event that is different, otherwise let the courts deal with it

  • FISTO Siltanen

    Did I miss something?

    How did Voynov and his girlfriend have an argument that escalated that quickly in front of his LA King teammates – they leave arguing and the assault continues outside! – and not a single player thought to follow them out to make sure she was safe? No wife or girlfriend suggested Voynov’s GF might need help?

  • Oiler Al

    You can forgive, bit you cant forget. Stay in the KHL and give a playing spot to a Canadian kid. Besides I would not want to mess with my locker room chemistry.