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Oct 20, 2014 11:29 AM

Voynov suspended after domestic violence charges

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) The NHL suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov indefinitely Monday following the two-time Stanley Cup winner's arrest on domestic violence accusations.

Police in the Los Angeles suburb of Redondo Beach provided few details of what led to Voynov's arrest at a hospital in neighboring Torrance. Sgt. Paul Ribitzki said Voynov was arrested and booked early Monday under a "domestic violence/spousal abuse" section of the penal code.

The 24-year-old Russian defenseman posted $50,000 bail, Ribitzki said.

"These developments are of great concern to our organization," the Kings said in a statement. "We support the NHL's decision to suspend Slava Voynov indefinitely during this process, and we will continue to take appropriate action as the legal proceedings and the investigation by the NHL take their course."

Craig Renetzky, the attorney representing Voynov, told The Associated Press that Voynov hasn't yet been charged with a crime. His next court date is Dec. 1, Renetzky said.

"We're still investigating with the police," Renetzky said. "It's very early on the proceedings. We're just asking everybody to be patient, because arrests don't always lead to charges and convictions."

The soft-spoken Voynov, who speaks limited English, was a key contributor to the Kings' two championship teams in the past three years, playing an aggressive two-way game from the blue line. The Siberia native also played for Russia at the Sochi Olympics.

"He's not familiar with our legal system, so he had a lot of questions," Renetzky said.

Voynov is the second prominent Russian NHL player to be accused of domestic violence in a year. Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov was arrested last October after allegations were brought against him by his girlfriend, but he wasn't suspended by the league, and the case was dropped in December.

The NHL's collective bargaining agreement allows it to suspend players during a criminal investigation "where the failure to suspend the player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the league."

The NFL has received widespread criticism for its handling of recent domestic violence charges against several players.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said he is confident in his league's policies, noting in a recent interview in Los Angeles that the league provides education to its players in a variety of areas.

Voynov will be paid during the investigation.

Voynov earned a spot in the Kings' lineup as a rookie during their run to their first Stanley Cup title in 2011-12. He scored a career-best 34 points last season, and he has two assists in six games this season, including an assist in a victory over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

The Kings signed Voynov to a six-year, $25 million contract extension in June 2013, paying him $3 million this season with escalating salaries through 2019.

The Kings had a day off from practice Monday after winning their last four games. Their next game is Thursday at home against Buffalo.


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