Arbitrator Shyam Das has upheld NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's decision to suspend former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov for the equivalent of one NHL season, the league announced Thursday.
Voynov was suspended in April for unacceptable off-ice conduct and filed an appeal shortly thereafter. Das credited Voynov with already serving 41 games, meaning the ban will remain in effect until halfway through of the 2019-20 regular season.
A statement from the NHL reads:
We have reviewed arbitrator Das' opinion in the NHLPA's appeal of Vyacheslav Voynov's suspension for domestic assault, which upheld the commissioner's imposition of a one-season (one-year) suspension for Voynov's off-ice conduct in October 2014. In his decision, arbitrator Das confirmed that there was substantial evidence to support each of the commissioner's material factual findings as well as the quantum of discipline imposed. Arbitrator Das described his decision to grant Mr. Voynov some "credit for time served" for a portion of the 2018-19 season as being due to various "highly unusual facts and circumstances (which) were not contemplated by the drafters of (the CBA) and do not easily fit into its procedures." While we do not believe Mr. Voynov was entitled to any "credit" for time missed during 2018-19 season, we accept arbitrator Das' conclusion that the precise factual context here was unusual - including the fact Voynov has not played in the NHL since October 2014, and that he did not play professional hockey at all during the 2018-19 season.
Taken in its totality, we are satisfied that arbitrator Das' decision supports our strongly held views that the conduct engaged in by Mr. Voynov in this case was completely unacceptable and worthy of significant league-imposed discipline. The decision also confirms and reaffirms the commissioner's broad authority under the CBA and applicable league rules to establish - and to enforce - appropriate standards of conduct for individuals involved in the National Hockey League.
Voynov was arrested in 2014 and convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse after police reported he punched, kicked, and choked his wife. He was sentenced to 90 days in prison and his contract was terminated by the Kings.
The 29-year-old went on to play three seasons in the KHL and represented the Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Olympics. Voynov suited up in 190 NHL games with the Kings and won Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.
While the Kings still own Voynov's rights, they announced he will not return to the organization.